Many new mothers discontinue breastfeeding prematurely because of difficulties encountered rather than materl choice. Research has shown that a significant predictor of breastfeeding duration is a mother's confidence in her ability to breastfeed. To measure breastfeeding confidence, the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale (BSES) was developed and psychometrically tested at 1 week postpartum. The purpose of this methodological study was to psychometrically test the BSES antetally and at 1 week and 4 months postpartum in a sample of Australian women and to determine predictive validity. The psychometric assessment of the origil BSES study was replicated, including interl consistency, principal components factor alysis, comparison of contrasted groups, and correlations with a similar construct. Support for predictive validity was demonstrated through positive correlations and significant mean differences between antetal BSES scores and infant-feeding method at 1 week and 4 months postpartum. The BSES is now considered ready for both research and clinical use (a) to identify new mothers with low breastfeeding confidence who require additiol assistance, (b) to assess breastfeeding behaviors and cognitions in order to have individualized confidence-building strategies, and (c) to assist in the evaluation of various nursing interventions.
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