To assess the feasibility of delivering a new ABA infant feeding helper intervention within a feasibility randomised controlled trial.
Breastfeeding can improve the health of mothers and infants, but the UK has low rates, with marked socio-economic inequalities. Whilst peer support services have been effective in some settings, trials of peer support in the UK have not improved breastfeeding rates. Qualitative research suggests that many women are alienated by the focus on breastfeeding. This feasibility study proposes to change from breastfeeding focussed interactions to respecting a woman’s feeding choices, inclusion of behaviour change theory, an increased intensity of contacts, particularly in the two weeks after birth when many women cease to breastfeed. This will take place alongside an assets-based approach. An assets-based approach is about focusing on the positive capability of individuals and communities, rather than solely on their needs, deficits and problems. It is essentially about recognising and making the most of people’s strengths, to ‘redress the balance between meeting needs and nurturing the strengths and resources of people and communities’, with a corresponding shift in focus from the determinants of illness to the determinants of health and wellbeing. Pat Hoddinott had the original idea for the study, which builds on the findings of the promising FEST pilot trial (Hoddinott P, Craig L, MacLennan G, Boyers D, Vale L. on behalf of the FEST project team. The FEeding Support Team (FEST) trial of proactive telephone support for breastfeeding women living in disadvantaged areas. BMJ Open 2012;2:2 e000652 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000652; Hoddinott P, Craig L, MacLennan G, Boyers D, Vale L. on behalf of the FEST project team. Process evaluation for the FEeding Support Team (FEST) trial of proactive telephone support for breastfeeding women living in disadvantaged areas. BMJ Open 2012;2:2 e001039 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001039).
Principal Investigator: University of Birmingham
NMAHP Research Unit Collaborators: Professor Pat Hoddinott
External Collaborators: Daniels J - University of Birmingham, Dykes F - University of Central Lancaster, Ingram J - University of Bristol, MacArthur C - University of Birmingham, Roberts T, University of Birmingham, Sitch A - University of Birmingham, Thomson G - University of Central Lancashire, Trickey H - University of Cardiff.