This individual-level randomized trial involves pregnant women followed for at least 6 months after delivery, to compare the effects of providing two "attention-control" counseling interventions designed to increase pregnant women's awareness of either:
The investigators will conduct an individual-level randomized trial involving pregnant women to compare the effects on infant feeding practices of providing pregnant women information about the maternal health benefits of breastfeeding to usual prenatal counseling focused on the infant health benefits of breastfeeding. Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two equal sized groups by research assistants using a web-based random number generator that conceals allocation. Participants will be recruited online via UC Davis' StudyPages website. Screening will occur online at the participant's convenience. When screening criteria have been met, the research coordinator will be notified, and initiate contact with the participant by text and/or phone call to schedule a time to deliver the intervention. Due to social distancing measures that have been put into place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, informed consent will be collected digitally using the Qualtrics platform after potential participants complete a secondary screening survey. Consenting participants will use Qualtrics to complete a baseline/enrollment survey and be randomized and then scheduled for a time to receive their allocated counseling intervention using the Zoom platform. Follow-up surveys will be distributed to participants at 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months postpartum.
Participants randomized to the "intervention group" will receive information about the maternal health benefits of breastfeeding from a research assistant who also will provide information on resources designed to support prenatal and postpartum health, including breastfeeding support groups. Participants will be presented with a series of images to look at while listening to the scripted counseling, including an image developed in 2002 by the Ad Council designed to convey a link between bottle-feeding and insulin use, as well as images developed specifically for use when counseling women about the maternal benefits of breastfeeding.
The "attention control" group will receive "usual care" from their prenatal care provider that focuses on the infant health benefits of breastfeeding. To control for the potential effects of receiving additional attention from a counselor, pregnant women enrolled in the control arm of this study will receive information from a peer counselor on the health benefits of "smoke- and weed-free homes".
The investigators will thoroughly train all research staff on the critical importance of delivering only the allocated counseling intervention to each study participant. The investigators will monitor intervention delivery by audio-recording staff interactions with study participants, and providing prompt feedback to research staff, if needed.
Intervention Delivery: These scripted counseling interventions were designed to be understood by those with no more than a fifth-grade education and to take less than 5 minutes to deliver. All research staff will be trained by the PI to ensure they understand the importance of maintaining the integrity of study group allocation and delivering only the assigned scripted counseling. After receiving their allocated counseling, participants will be emailed the images and script and encouraged to share this information with the people they anticipate receiving postpartum support from.