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breast-feeding, BSES-SF, duration, self-efficacy



  1. Kingston, Dawn MSc, RN
  2. Dennis, Cindy-Lee PhD, RN
  3. Sword, Wendy PhD, RN


Purpose: The purpose of this descriptive study was to explore the influence of efficacy-enhancing experiences on breast-feeding self-efficacy.


Methods: Using the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form, the influences of enactive mastery and various forms of experiences (vicarious, verbal persuasory, and physiological) on breast-feeding self-efficacy were assessed at 48 hours and 4 weeks postpartum among a convenience sample of 63 mothers.


Results: Those women who observed breast-feeding role models through videotapes or received praise from their partners or their own mothers had significantly higher levels of breast-feeding self-efficacy than mothers who did not. In addition, mothers who experienced physical pain or received professional assistance with breast-feeding difficulties had significantly lower levels of breast-feeding self-efficacy than those who did not.


Conclusion: This study provides preliminary evidence that specific efficacy-enhancing strategies may significantly influence breast-feeding self-efficacy. Further research is warranted.