The Effect of an Interventional Program, Based on the Theory of Ethology, on Breastfeeding Competence of Infants

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 PhD Student of Reproductive Health, Student Research Committee, Nursing and Midwifery School, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Faculty Member, Nursing and Midwifery School, Women’s Health Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Nursing and Midwifery School, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

Introduction:According to the theory of ethology, separation of infants from their mothers immediately after birth can interfere with the infants’ innate breastfeeding behaviours. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of an interventional program, based on the theory of ethology, on infants’ breastfeeding competence.
Methods:In total, 114 primiparous, healthy, full-term mothers (within the age range of 18-35 years), undergoing normal vaginal delivery, were included in the study; the subjects were Inranians and intended to breastfeed their infants. The infants were placed in direct skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately after birth for two hours. Then, the rate of the infants’ breastfeeding competence was compared with the control group, receiving routine hospital care.
Results: The rate of breastfeeding competence in the direct contact group was higher than the group receiving routine care (P=0.0001).
Conclusion:Early skin-to-skin contact between mother and infant promotes the infant’s natural feeding behaviors and leads to earlier attainment of breastfeeding competence. These findings confirm the theory of ethology.

Keywords