Motivational interviewing to promote sustained breastfeeding

Susan L Wilhelm, Mary Beth Flanders Stepans, Melody Hertzog, T. Kim Callahan Rodehorst, Patti Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To explore the feasibility of using motivational interviewing to promote sustained breastfeeding by increasing a mother's intent to breastfeed for 6 months and increasing her breastfeeding self-efficacy. Design: A longitudinal experimental two-group design with repeated measures was selected to explore the feasibility of using motivational interviewing to promote sustained breastfeeding in primiparous mothers. Setting: Three Western rural community hospital sites. Participants: Convenience sample of 73 primiparous breastfeeding mothers ranging between the ages of 19 and 38, M = 25 (SD = 4.5). Main Outcome Measure: Mothers reported the date of their last day of breastfeeding, defined as any breastfeeding during the previous 24-hour period. Breastfeeding behavior was confirmed at each visit by infant test weights. Results: The motivational interviewing group (M = 98.1 days, SD = 75.2) breastfed longer than the comparison group (M = 80.7 days, SD = 71.9); however, this difference was not significant, t(69) = 0.991, p = .325, Cohen's d = 0.24, related to the variability in the sample. Conclusions: Although not a statistically significant difference, the mean number of days that mothers in the intervention group breastfed was 98 days compared to the mean of 81 days by the comparison group; therefore, motivational interviewing may be useful as a strategy to test in a comprehensive intervention plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-348
Number of pages9
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


  • Breastfeeding Self-efficacy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Sustained Breastfeeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • General Medicine


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