Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Cynthia Elverson


breastfeeding, education, intervention, lactation, randomized controlled tria, social support


n the United States breastfeeding duration and exclusivity rates are not at ideal levels, therefore there is a need to examine existing interventions. The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the effects of education and support interventions during the third trimester, immediate postpartum, and the first six months of life on breastfeeding duration and exclusivity from six weeks to six months. Inclusion criteria were (a) randomized controlled trials or controlled clinical trials, (b) pregnant and/or postpartum women, (c) lactation education and support interventions, (d) measurement of breastfeeding outcomes from six weeks to six months, and (e) published between 2008- 2020. Twenty articles (21 studies) were reviewed. Thirteen studies employed innovative interventions that resulted in statistically significant differences in breastfeeding outcomes between groups. Interventions with statistically significant results were primarily combinations of education and social support and all were provided during the postpartum period. Interventions that targeted both the woman and a support person were more likely to be effective. A limited number of studies targeted the adolescent population and minorities. Common study weaknesses included limited use of a theoretical model, incomplete description of the intervention, and inconsistent outcome definitions and measurements. Based on these results recommendations for future research were derived.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Breastfeeding promotion.
Breastfeeding -- Health aspects.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright