Effect Of Peer Support On Breast-Feeding Duration
January 8, 2001 (Canadian Medical Association Journal) --
Many new mothers initiate breast-feeding but stop within weeks of

Cindy-Lee Dennis and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled
trial to evaluate the effect of peer support on prolonging the duration
of breast-feeding and found that peer support did make a difference.

Recruited from Toronto-area hospitals, 256 new mothers who decided to
breast-feed were randomly assigned to either regular care or to telephone based peer support from volunteers with breast-feeding experience.

The authors report that at follow-up at 4, 8 and 12 weeks post partum,
mothers in the breast-feeding peer-support group showed consistently
higher rates of breast-feeding than those in the usual care group
(92.4% v. 83.9% at 4 weeks, 84.8% v. 75.0% at 8 weeks, and 81.1% v.
66.9% at 12 weeks).

The authors add that most of those who evaluated their peer-support
intervention were satisfied with the experience.

In a related commentary, Ruth Lawrence applauds the study for supplying
"the needed evidence that indeed peer support does make a difference in the long-term outcome of breast-feeding."

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