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Volunteers’ experiences of providing telephone-based breast-feeding peer support in the RUBY randomised controlled trial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2020

HA Grimes
Affiliation:
Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia School of Nursing & Midwifery, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3086, Australia La Trobe Rural Health School, Bendigo, Victoria 3552, Australia
T Shafiei
Affiliation:
Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
HL McLachlan
Affiliation:
Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia School of Nursing & Midwifery, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3086, Australia
DA Forster
Affiliation:
Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia The Royal Women’s Hospital, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Objective:

The Ringing Up About Breastfeeding earlY (RUBY) randomised controlled trial (RCT) found that a telephone-based peer volunteer support intervention increased breast-feeding duration in a setting with high breast-feeding initiation. This sub-study of the RUBY RCT describes the motivation, preparation and experiences of volunteers who provided the peer support intervention.

Design:

An online survey was completed by 154 (67 %) volunteers after ceasing volunteering.

Setting:

Volunteers provided peer support to primiparous women (n 574) who birthed at one of three public hospitals in Melbourne, Australia, between February 2013 and December 2015.

Participants:

Volunteers (n 230) had themselves breastfed for at least 6 months and received 4 h of training for the role.

Results:

The median number of mothers supported was two (range 1–11), and two-thirds of respondents supported at least one mother for 6 months. Volunteers were motivated by a strong desire to support new mothers to establish and continue breast-feeding. Most (93 %) considered the training session adequate. The majority (60 %) reported following the call schedule ‘most of the time’, but many commented that ‘it depends on the mother’. Overall, 84 % of volunteers were satisfied with the role and reported that the experience was enjoyable (85 %) and worthwhile (90 %). Volunteers agreed that telephone support for breast-feeding was valued by women (88 %) and that the programme would be effective in helping women to breastfeed (93 %).

Conclusions:

These findings are important for those developing similar peer support programmes in which recruiting volunteers and developing training requirements are an integral and recurrent part of volunteer management.

Type
Research paper
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society

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