To examine the efficacy of an intervention based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) in improving breastfeeding behavior among women with cesarean sections (C-sections).
This research was a randomized controlled trial. Women with planned elective C-sections were recruited to participate in a randomized controlled trial between June and September 2020. One hundred thirty-two women were divided randomly into the intervention ( n = 66) and control group ( n = 66) by systematic random sampling. In the intervention group, an intervention project was implemented after the C-section to establish positive breastfeeding attitudes, cultivate supportive subjective norms, enhance perceived behavioral control, and strengthen breastfeeding intention to change behaviors. Those in the control group received routine pre-and post-delivery care. Exclusive breastfeeding rate and breast problem were collected at 5 days, 2 weeks, and 1 month after C-section. The modified Breastfeeding Attrition Prediction Tool (BAPT) on the first day in the hospital, two weeks, and one month after C-section and Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) 24 h postoperatively were used to compare the intervention effect between the two groups.
After the intervention, the intervention group had significantly higher exclusive breastfeeding rates than the control group at five days (86.4% vs. 60.6%), two weeks (77.3% vs. 57.6%), and one month (74.2% vs. 50.0%) after the C-section. Besides, the intervention group was less likely to have sore nipples at five days (6.1% vs. 18.2% in the control group, P < 0.05) and two weeks (9.1% vs. 12.1% in the control group, P < 0.05). After two weeks of intervention, attitude scores (90.64 ± 8.31 vs. 87.20 ± 8.15, P < 0.05), subjective norm scores (88.07 ± 24.65 vs. 79.42 ± 19.47, P < 0.05）and behavior control scores in the intervention group were significantly higher than those in the control group. After one month of intervention, attitude scores (90.34 ± 10.35 vs. 84.22 ± 10.51, P < 0.05) and behavior control scores (43.13 ± 5.02 vs. 39.15 ± 4.69, P < 0.05）in the intervention group were significantly higher than those in the control group, which resulted in the higher breastfeeding intention in the intervention group.