Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp 1591–1598

The Impact of Community Health Professional Contact Postpartum on Breastfeeding at 3 Months: A Cross-Sectional Retrospective Study


DOI: 10.1007/s10995-013-1398-3

Cite this article as:
Brodribb, W.E. & Miller, Y.D. Matern Child Health J (2014) 18: 1591. doi:10.1007/s10995-013-1398-3


This study investigated the effect of any health professional contact and the types of contact new mothers received in the first 10 days post-discharge on breastfeeding rates at 3 months. This cross-sectional retrospective self-report survey was distributed to women who birthed in Queensland, Australia between 1st February and 31st May 2010 at 4–5 months postpartum. Data were collected on pregnancy, birth, postpartum care and infant feeding. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between health professional contact and breastfeeding at 3 months. Data were analysed by birthing facility sector because of significant differences between sectors in health professional contact. The study cohort consisted of 6,852 women. Women in the public sector were more likely to be visited at home than women birthing in the private sector. Any health professional contact (AOR 1.65 99 % CI 0.98–2.76 public sector, AOR 0.78 99 % CI 0.59–1.03 private sector) and home visits (AOR 1.50 99 % CI 0.89–2.54 public sector, AOR 0.80 99 % CI 0.46–1.39 private sector) were not associated with breastfeeding at 3 months in either sector. A telephone call (AOR 2.07 99 % CI 1.06–4.03) or visit to a general practitioner (GP) (AOR 1.83 99 % CI 1.04–3.21) increased the odds of breastfeeding in public sector women. Health professional contact or home visiting in the first 10 days post-discharge did not have a significant impact on breastfeeding rates at 3 months. Post-discharge telephone contact for all women and opportunities for self-initiated clinic visits for women assessed to be at higher risk of ceasing breastfeeding may be the most effective care.


Postpartum care Breastfeeding Health professional Community Home visits 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women’s HospitalThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Public Health and Social WorkQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of PsychologyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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