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Breastfeeding Self-efficacy and Related Socio-demographic, Perinatal and Psychological Factors: a Cross-sectional Study Among Postpartum Greek Women

Konstantinos Tsaras, Tatiana Sorokina, Ioanna V. Papathanasiou, Evangelos C. Fradelos, Dimitrios Papagiannis, George Koulierakis.


Background: Studies have shown that breastfeeding self-efficacy constitutes a determinant used to forecast breastfeeding behaviours. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the factors associated to breastfeeding self-efficacy and identify its predictors among Greek women in their immediate postpartum period. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the General Hospital of Volos, Greece. A convenience sample of 120 postpartum women who gave birth at the hospital and met all the inclusion criteria were invited to participate; 100 responded. Questionnaires on socio-demographic, perinatal and breastfeeding-related characteristics, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and the Breastfeeding Self-Efficiency Scale were completed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed with the use of the linear regression model. Results: Women reported a rather good level of breastfeeding self-efficacy (mean = 3.65; SD = 0.85) in the early postpartum period. 52% of women carried out exclusive breastfeeding in the hospital. The prevalence of postnatal depression was 25%. The best-fit regression analysis revealed four predictors (timing of the mother’s decision to breastfeed, infant’s feeding pattern, previous breastfeeding experience, levels of postnatal depression) explaining 44.7% of the variance in breastfeeding self-efficacy. Conclusion: Acknowledging the determinants which affect breastfeeding self-efficacy of women in the immediate postpartum period is a necessary condition in designing targeted intervention services.

Key words: Breastfeeding self-efficacy, demographic factors, perinatal factors, social support, postnatal depression.

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