Date of Conferral
Leslie C. Hussey
Breastfeeding is the best infant feeding method, and breastmilk has many immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect babies against illnesses and diseases. It protects the health of the mother and saves society substantial economic costs, as demonstrated in many studies. Studies show that if 90% of U.S mothers breastfed for 6 months, up to $13 billion in healthcare costs could be saved. Despite the health and economic benefits of breastfeeding, most women stop breastfeeding before 6 months postpartum, which falls short of the recommendations of the World Health Organization, U.S. Surgeon General, and American Academy of Pediatrics. This study explored the effects of hand expression with lactation support on first-time mothers' self-efficacy for breastfeeding and breastfeeding duration among vaginal and Cesarean delivery mothers at a healthcare center in Oregon. The pretest posttest quasi-experimental design was used on 32 women with 4 repeated-measures ANOVA, and the women were followed up for 6 weeks postpartum. The women in the intervention group received the hand-expression intervention after the first breastfeeding until their white milk had been established. Results showed a large effect of the hand-expression intervention with lactation support on the dependent variable of self-efficacy, with an effect size of 0.888, and the dependent variable of breastfeeding duration, with an effect size of 0.801. Further, self-efficacy and breastfeeding duration increased over time. The results may inform policy development to increase women's self-efficacy and breastfeeding duration, which could help babies, mothers, and society to derive maximum benefits from breastfeeding.