Background Increasing breastfeeding rates around the world is one of the most important goals of the World Health Organization. Self-efficacy is a modifying and predictive factor for initiation and continuation of breastfeeding. This study was conducted to investigate the impact of mobile-based education and regular delivery of designed messages on breastfeeding self-efficacy in primiparous mothers.
Methods This study was a double blind pilot randomized controlled trial, in which a hundred and twenty primiparous breastfeeding mothers were randomly allocated into two groups using permuted block randomization. The standard method conseling arm received routine counseling interventions and the intervention arm received a mobile instant messaging program in addition to the usual counseling. The main objective of this study was to compare self-efficacy in face-to-face counseling group and mobile instant messaging group. Self-efficacy levels were compared in the two groups before and after the study procedures.
Results In this study, 60 mothers were studied in each group, and then the collected data were analyzed. The mean post-test scores in the intervention group (60.40 ± 4.92) and the control group (50.10 ± 7.60) were compared in the main analysis. The results indicated a statistically significant difference (p <0.001). Given the amount of effect size ( d= 0.99; 95% CI=1.19-2.02 ) it appears that there is a high level correlation between the applied intervention and level of self-efficacy among the study participants, especially those with higher levels of education. Secondary findings of the study involved evaluating the effects of education, occupation, family income, lactation duration and spouse support for breastfeeding self-efficacy. Except for the maternal education level, which had a significant relationship with the level of breastfeeding self-efficacy (p= 0.02), the other factors did not show any correlation with self-efficacy in breastfeeding.
Conclusion The pilot study provided valuable information for feasibility assessment of randomized controlled trials in future studies with larger sample sizes and more participant diversity.