Journal article

The effect of an area-based intervention on breastfeeding rates in Victoria, Australia

Margaret Kelaher, David Dunt, Peter Feldman, Andrea Nolan, Bridie Raban



OBJECTIVES: Best Start is an area-based early childhood intervention where projects are developed and implemented through a community partnership. A core tenet of the initiative is that implementing projects through a partnership generates greater value than would be expected if projects were undertaken independently by partner members. In this study we examine whether: (1) Best Start is effective in increasing the proportion of infants being fully breastfed at 3 months and 6 months. (2) The quality of community partnerships is a potential mechanism for change. METHODS: Best Start was implemented in Victoria, Australia. The study examined breastfeeding rates before and after Best Start in si..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The evaluation was commissioned by the Victorian Government's Department of Human Services and the Department of Education and Training with support from the Community Support Fund. Margaret Kelaher was supported in part by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development award and VicHealth. The Statewide evaluation team would like to thank the Steering committee and Best Start projects, particularly the community facilitators, for their assistance and advice in the development of methods for the evaluation and the collection of the data which form the basis of this report. Their enthusiasm and support is truly valued. Indeed the report could not have been produced without their input.