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Use of telelactation interventions to improve breastfeeding outcomes among mothers: A mixed-studies systematic review

  • Author Footnotes
    1 ORCID: 0000-0001-6057-3247
    Crystal Min Siu Chua
    Footnotes
    1 ORCID: 0000-0001-6057-3247
    Affiliations
    Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Level 2, Clinical Research Centre, Block MD11, 10 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597, Singapore
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  • Author Footnotes
    2 ORCID: 00000-0002-2604-8526
    Jancy Mathews
    Footnotes
    2 ORCID: 00000-0002-2604-8526
    Affiliations
    National University Polyclinics, National University Health Systems, 1 Jurong East Street 21, Tower A, Basement 2, Singapore 609606, Singapore
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  • Mabel Sor Boh Ong
    Affiliations
    National University Polyclinics, National University Health Systems, 1 Jurong East Street 21, Tower A, Basement 2, Singapore 609606, Singapore
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  • Kelly Kaili Liew
    Affiliations
    National University Polyclinics, National University Health Systems, Blk 451 #02-307, Clementi Ave 3, Singapore 120451, Singapore
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  • Author Footnotes
    3 ORCID: 0000-0001-5583-2814
    Shefaly Shorey
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Footnotes
    3 ORCID: 0000-0001-5583-2814
    Affiliations
    Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Level 2, Clinical Research Centre, Block MD11, 10 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597, Singapore
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 ORCID: 0000-0001-6057-3247
    2 ORCID: 00000-0002-2604-8526
    3 ORCID: 0000-0001-5583-2814

      Abstract

      Background

      Breastfeeding has multiple positive impacts on infants, mothers, and the economy.

      Problem

      However, the global breastfeeding rates fall short of the World Health Organization’s recommendations. Telelactation interventions have been shown to improve breastfeeding outcomes, yet this field has not been systematically reviewed.

      Aim

      This mixed-studies systematic review aims to consolidate and synthesize findings on the available evidence of telelactation interventions on breastfeeding outcomes, uptake of these interventions, and provide recommendations for future lactation interventions.

      Methods

      A literature search was conducted in six electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane, and Scopus) and one gray literature (Mednar) from their inception date to October 2021. Thirteen articles met the selection criteria, and thematic synthesis was conducted to consolidate and synthesize findings from the included studies.

      Findings

      Three themes and nine subthemes were identified: (1) Attributes and receptivity of telelactation interventions, (2) Benefits associated with telelactation interventions, and (3) Recommendations and improvement opportunities.

      Discussion

      Telelactation interventions were well-received by stakeholders (mothers, fathers, and healthcare providers), and receptivity was found to be influenced by primiparity and the perceived usefulness of telelactation consultations (extrinsic motivation). These interventions showed promising improvement in the provider-user relationship and breastfeeding outcomes. Future studies should make telelactation user-friendly, secure their telelactation platforms, increase communication options and built-in functions, and improve care continuity.

      Conclusion

      This review highlighted the advantages, recommendations, and future considerations for telelactation interventions. More research is needed to pilot telelactation interventions in various regions and obtain longitudinal data with different time points.

      Keywords

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