Pragmatic Trial to Evaluate the Effect of a Promotora Telephone Intervention on the Duration of Breastfeeding

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Objective:To evaluate the effectiveness of a telephone intervention delivered by promotoras (lay health care workers) to increase the duration of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) in Hispanic women at 12 weeks postpartum. Secondary objectives were to assess breastfeeding duration (BFD) and to evaluate background variables that may be associated with EBF and BFD.Design:Pragmatic trial.Setting:Two obstetric clinics affiliated with a community medical center in Southern California.Participants:We recruited 61 participants from the two clinics. Participants were 18 to 45 years old and planned to breastfeed their infants. Women who showed interest in the study were sequentially divided into an intervention (n = 31) or a control group (n = 30).Methods:The intervention consisted of telephone support for breastfeeding provided by certified and trained promotoras.Results:Fourteen out of 31 (45%) participants in the intervention group continued to practice EBF compared with 4 out of 30 (13%) in the control group (odds ratio = 3.39, p = .04). Breastfeeding duration in days was significantly longer for the participants in the intervention group (F =1/59 = 29.88, p < .01). The positive predictors of EBF at 12 weeks after birth were prior breastfeeding experience, perceived breastfeeding support, promotora telephone support, and higher scores on the acculturation scale. Positive predictors of BFD were breastfeeding support, promotora telephone support, and higher scores on breastfeeding self-efficacy. A negative predictor was lower household income.Conclusion:Our results indicate that a telephone support intervention delivered by promotoras may increase the rates of EBF by threefold at 12 weeks after birth.

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