What promotes and hinders success in breastfeeding in hospital care? – the role of social support and anxiety
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Submission date: 2017-05-10
Final revision date: 2017-06-20
Acceptance date: 2017-07-05
Online publication date: 2018-02-01
Publication date: 2018-02-01
Health Psychology Report 2018;6(3):252-260
Hospital stay is associated with difficult circumstances, which may be accompanied by anxiety. Difficulty with initiation and continuation of breastfeeding may be commonly experienced in the hospital. Observed difficulties can be modified by sharing knowledge and involvement of midwives in the care of mothers and newborns. Breastfeeding is considered to be the ideal choice of nutrition and infant’s feeding, providing many benefits both for infants and their mothers. The aim of the study is to explore the role of the quality of breastfeeding assistance during delivery hospitalization and maternal anxiety for overall breastfeeding duration.

Participants and procedure:
The study included 858 women after labor from intentionally selected hospitals of Pomerania, discharged from hospital up to 15 days after birth. We used a questionnaire to collect data on the nursing assistance and the process of breastfeeding during patients’ stay in a hospital. In addition, we applied the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) to measure the levels of state and trait anxiety.

The results showed a significant relationship between the level of maternal postpartum anxiety and duration of breastfeeding. Mothers (mostly after physiological labor) reported a significantly lower level of state anxiety in hospitals titled Baby Friendly. Additionally, a significant difference in breastfeeding duration depending on the hospital and mothers’ perception of receiving support from midwives was found.

It is reasonable to continue the activities increasing standards of medical personnel support and raising the midwives’ and mothers’ awareness of the importance of anxiety for breastfeeding duration.

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