Predictors of breastfeeding self-efficacy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Maryam Ahmad Zadeh Beheshti, Zainab Alimoradi, Nasim Bahrami, Kelly Ann Allen, Kerrie Lissack

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Breastfeeding self-efficacy (BSE) is a strong predictor of the duration of breastfeeding. The aim of this study is to determine the predictors of BSE in breastfeeding mothers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 300 breastfeeding mothers who breastfed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Convenience sampling was used to recruit participants. A battery of online questionnaires measured sociodemographic and obstetric characteristics, breastfeeding self-efficacy, spouse postpartum social support, perceived social support, anxiety and depression, and fear of Covid-19. Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficients, one-way ANOVA, and multivariable linear regression via stepwise method. The significance level in this study was α = 0.05. Results: The mean BSE score among participants was 58.19 ± 10.48 (out of 70). Spouse postpartum social support (β = 0.732, p = 0.04), intention to breastfeed (β = 0.17, p = 0.001), use of formula while breastfeeding (β = −0.09, p < 0.001), and depression (β = - 0.11, p < 0.001) were significant predictors of BSE. However, fear of Covid-19 was not significantly correlated with BSE (p = 0.514). Conclusion: The results of the present study showed that fear of Covid-19 was not a significant predictor of BSE, while spouse postpartum social support and having the intention of breastfeeding were positively associated with BSE. Depression and simultaneous use of formula in feeding the infant was negatively associated with BSE during Covid-19. Overall, breastfeeding can be encouraged through counseling to improve receiving spousal support, increasing breastfeeding intent, and reducing depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neonatal Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Breastfeeding
  • Covid-19
  • Self-efficacy

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