Development of a Community-Based Lactation Support Program
Background. Despite the recommendations from leading health organizations and the documented health benefits for both mother and infant, breastfeeding success rates continue to be suboptimal.
Design. A program development design was used for this Community-Based Lactation Support Program. This pilot was the first step in accomplishing the long term goal of expansion of the program to the entire community of Scituate and the state of Rhode Island.
Objectives. The objectives of this program were to increase exclusive and sustained breastfeeding rates in the town of Scituate through education and support and to ensure a positive breastfeeding experience for the breastfeeding family. The program was designed to enhance, not replace, existing breastfeeding support services and healthcare providers.
Method. The objectives were accomplished through individual support, education, and empowerment in the home environment using a public health nurse implemented program.
The pilot consisted of a program design utilizing the Precede/Proceed framework for: project promotion and recruitment; pre-natal interview and breastfeeding education; postpartum home visit; and follow-up phone assessments at one week, two weeks, one month, and three months after delivery.
Results. The four mothers who participated in the pilot reported an increase in confidence and knowledge and sustained, exclusive breastfeeding during follow-up phone assessments.