Latch On: A protocol for a multi-centre, randomised controlled trial of perinatal support to improve breastfeeding outcomes in women with a raised BMI

Type Article

Journal Article


S. L. O'Reilly; E. C. O'Brien; D. McGuinness; J. Mehegan; B. Coughlan; D. O'Brien; M. Szafranska; S. Callanan; S. Hughes; M. C. Conway; M. Brosnan; L. Sheehy; R. Murtagh; L. O'Hagan; S. Murray; C. Scallon; E. Dunn; P. Power; M. Woodcock; A. Carroll; M. Co

Year of publication



Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications







Introduction Breastfeeding is associated with improved maternal and child outcomes. Women with a higher body mass index (BMI), who comprise about 50% of the population, are at increased risk of poorer breastfeeding practices and are a population who would benefit from breastfeeding. Methods This protocol is for a multi-centre, randomised controlled trial of perinatal breastfeeding support among primiparous women with a BMI >25 kg/m2, using a previously-tested, multi-component intervention. The primary outcome is any breastfeeding at 3 months. The intervention will support mothers and their partners and spans from late pregnancy to six weeks postpartum. Intervention components include group antenatal breastfeeding education, individual face-to-face education in the immediate postnatal period, professional support to six weeks’ postpartum and weekly phone calls in the immediate postpartum period from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). The intervention will target attitudes towards breastfeeding, breastfeeding self-efficacy, and subjective norms around infant feeding with the aim to normalise the behaviour. Results We anticipate that the intervention will be well-accepted and feasible to carry out within four maternity units in the East of Ireland. Furthermore, essential formative qualitative work has been conducted to inform the intervention design and to ensure that it is contextually appropriate. Conclusion The proposed intervention will be invaluable to policy-makers in providing insights into what specific interventions are effective in improving breastfeeding rates for women with a raised BMI.