The Relationship Between Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy and Perceived Insufficient Milk Among Japanese Mothers

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ObjectiveTo examine the relationship between maternal perceptions of insufficient milk and breastfeeding confidence using the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale.DesignCross-sectional study.ParticipantsTwo hundred and sixty-two in-hospital breastfeeding mothers in Japan.Main Outcome MeasureBreastfeeding self-efficacy was measured in-hospital and perception of insufficient milk was measured at 4 weeks postpartum.ResultsAlthough most mothers intended to exclusively breastfeed, less than 40% were doing so at 4 weeks postpartum. Among the mothers using formula, 73% cited perceived insufficient milk as the primary reason for supplementation or completely discontinuing breastfeeding. Mothers' perception of insufficient milk at 4 weeks postpartum were significantly related to breastfeeding self-efficacy in hospital in the immediate postpartum period (r=.45, p<.001). Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that breastfeeding self-efficacy explained 21% of the variance in maternal perceptions of insufficient milk, and the contribution was independent of sociodemographic variables.ConclusionsEnhancing breastfeeding self-efficacy in the immediate postpartum period may reduce maternal perceptions of insufficient milk and the premature discontinuation or supplementation of breastfeeding. Additional research is warranted.

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