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  1. Laantera, Sari MNSc, RN, PhD
  2. Pietila, Anna-Maija PhD
  3. Polkki, Tarja PhD


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe breastfeeding knowledge of childbearing parents as well as to discover the demographic variables related to it, and evaluate the use of a web-based survey.


Subjects and methods: The electronic Breastfeeding Knowledge, Attitude and Confidence scale was developed, and the data were collected at eight maternity healthcare clinics in Finland. All the families who visited those clinics between March 2 and April 3, 2009 were invited to the study, and 123 pregnant mothers and 49 fathers completed the survey.


Findings and conclusions: The respondents correctly answered 68% of the items related to breastfeeding knowledge. The most usual lack of knowledge concerned how to increase lactation, sufficiency of breast milk in hot weather, sufficiency of breast milk for 4 months after birth, and the need to pump the breasts after alcohol consumption. Differences in the breastfeeding scores existed when gender, parity, age, living with spouse, educational level, smoking, time of pregnancy and breastfeeding history were considered. The web-based survey was well suited to the data collection, but the weak response rate requires attention. Parents need more information about ways to increase lactation and reasons to start complementary feeding.