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Perceptions About Lactation Consultant Support, Breastfeeding Experiences and Postpartum Psychosocial Outcomes

eagle-i ID


Resource Type

  1. Journal article


  1. Resource Description
    Introduction: Many women seek lactation consultant support in the postpartum period. Lactation consultant support in community or clinical settings is often assumed to extend breastfeeding duration, improve breastfeeding experiences, and be well-received. Few studies have assessed women's perceptions of the support they received, nor have perceptions been examined in relationship to breastfeeding outcomes and maternal well-being. Our objective was to characterize the lactation consultant support women received and examine how women's perceptions about the support related to their breastfeeding outcomes, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and parenting stress. Methods: This observational, cross-sectional study examined receipt of postpartum lactation consultant support among 210 US women. Perceptions of lactation consultant support were examined in relation to breastfeeding outcomes, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and parenting stress to explore outcomes of negative versus positive lactation consultant support experiences, using linear and proportional hazards regression. Results: While overall perceptions of lactation consultant support were positive for most recipients (71%, n = 98), 29% (n = 40) reported negative perceptions of lactation consultant support. Negative perceptions were associated with lower breastfeeding self-efficacy (β = - 11.7, 95% CI - 17.3, - 6.0), a less successful breastfeeding experience (β = - 19.5, CI - 27.8, - 11.3), greater general anxiety (β = 6.5, CI 2.1, 10.9), and shorter total duration of milk production (HR = 0.39, 95% CI 0.18, 0.84). Perceptions were not associated with depressive symptoms or parenting stress. Discussion: Findings highlight the importance of ensuring that postpartum breastfeeding support provided by lactation consultants is perceived as positive by women. Keywords: Breastfeeding support; Lactation consultant; Maternal psychology; Mental health; Postpartum depression.
  2. Website(s)
  3. PubMed ID
    PMID: 33244680
  4. Part of Collection
    Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS)
Provenance Metadata About This Resource Record

    Copyright © 2016 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College
    The eagle-i Consortium is supported by NIH Grant #5U24RR029825-02 / Copyright 2016