Background: Education is a process beginning with informing, followed by attitude-making and finally leading to appropriate behavior and performance in trainees. Breastfeeding self-efficacy, as a term, is originated from the social cognitive theory structures of Bandura. This theory refers to one’s beliefs and confidence in her/his ability to perform health behaviors like exclusive and successful breastfeeding.
Methods: In this study, 270 pregnant women with gestational age over 30 weeks were selected among those referring to health centers by cluster sampling method. The subjects were randomly divided into 3 groups. One group was considered as the control group and the two other groups were educated through either face to face or small-group methods. Data were collected using a demographic questionnaire, performance assessment check list, and breastfeeding self-efficacy questionnaire. The collected data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tests in SPSS.
Results: Data analysis on breastfeeding self-efficacy showed that there was no significant difference between 3 groups before training. The mean scores of women attending face to face and small-group education were 2.89 and 2.88, which increased to 4.73 and 4.18, respectively. There was a significant difference between the intervention groups after education (P < 0.001). Self-efficacy mean scores after delivery showed that face to face education is more efficient. The results showed that there was a significant association between self-efficacy and performance in mothers (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Face to face education method has positive effects on infant feeding pattern, mother performance, breastfeeding satisfaction and beliefs as well as self-efficacy.