Feasibility and acceptability of a motivational interviewing breastfeeding peer support intervention

Lauren Copeland, Laura Merrett, Cheryl McQuire, Aimee Grant, Nina Gobat, Sally Tedstone, Rebecca Playle, Sue Channon, Julia Sanders, Rhiannon Phillips, Billie Hunter, Amy Brown, Deborah Fitzsimmons, Micheal Robling, Shantini Paranjothy

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An uncontrolled study with process evaluation was conducted in three U.K. community maternity sites to establish the feasibility and acceptability of delivering a novel breastfeeding peer‐support intervention informed by motivational interviewing (MI; Mam‐Kind). Peer‐supporters were trained to deliver the Mam‐Kind intervention that provided intensive one‐to‐one peer‐support, including (a) antenatal contact, (b) face-to‐face contact within 48 hr of birth, (c) proactive (peer‐supporter led) alternate day contact for 2 weeks after birth, and (d) mother‐led contact for a further 6 weeks. Peer‐supporters completed structured diaries and audio‐recorded face‐to‐face sessions with mothers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of mothers, health professionals, and all peer‐supporters. Interview data were analysed thematically to assess intervention acceptability. Audio‐recorded peer‐support sessions were assessed for intervention fidelity and the use of MI techniques, using the MITI 4.2 tool. Eight peer‐supporters delivered the Mam‐Kind intervention to 70 mothers in three National Health Service maternity services. Qualitative interviews with mothers (n = 28), peer‐supporters (n = 8), and health professionals (n = 12) indicated that the intervention was acceptable, and health professionals felt it could be integrated with existing services. There was high fidelity to intervention content; 93% of intervention objectives were met during sessions. However, peer‐supporters reported difficulties in adapting from an expert‐by‐experience role to a collaborative role. We have established the feasibility and acceptability of providing breastfeeding peer‐support using a MI‐informed approach. Refinement of the intervention is needed to further develop peer‐supporters' skills in providing mother‐centred support. The refined intervention should be tested for effectiveness in a randomised controlled trial.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Early online date23 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2018


  • breastfeeding
  • feasibility
  • infant feeding
  • motivational interviewing
  • peer‐support
  • pregnancy


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