The relationship between fatigue and breastfeeding self-efficacy

  • S Fata
  • Ş.Ü. Atan
Keywords: Breastfeeding, fatigue, nursing, self‑efficacy


Background: Postpartum fatigue appears in the early weeks and after childbirth has a clear impact on maternal functioning and breastfeeding.

Aim: This study aimed to examine the relationship between fatigue and breastfeeding self‑efficacy.

Materials and Methods: This descriptive study was conducted at three family health centers (FHCs) in Izmir, Turkey, between June 2013 and March 2014. We used the Self‑Description Form for Mothers, the Breastfeeding Self‑Efficacy Scale Short Form (BSES‑SF), and the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI) to collect data from 184 breastfeeding women during the postpartum period.

Results: At week 1 postpartum, 98.9% of the mothers in this study experienced fatigue; of those, 12.6% had minor fatigue, 48.3% had moderate fatigue, 36.8% had excessive fatigue, and 0.7% had the highest level of fatigue. At week 8 postpartum, 46.7% of the mothers experienced fatigue, 50.0% of whom experienced fatigue on a minor level, 16.2% on a moderate level, and 2.5% on an excessive level. The present study found that 55.4% and 1.1% of the mothers had BSES‑SF mean scores below 50 at weeks 1 and 8 postpartum, respectively. The mean BSES‑SF score was 51.21 ± 6.95 (min–max = 19.00–70.00) at week 1 postpartum, which increased to 64.54 ± 9.65 (min–max = 15.00–70.00) at week 8 postpartum. The statistical results indicated that there were no significant relationships between the BSES‑SF and the BFI at week 1 postpartum (r = 0.007, P > 0.05) and week 8 postpartum (r = 0.111, P > 0.05).

Conclusion: In this study, the mothers’ fatigue during the postpartum period was not associated with breastfeeding self‑efficacy. Many of the variables identified may be considered modifiable and amenable to interventions. Targeted interventions should be directed toward improved breastfeeding outcomes among Turkish women.

Keywords: Breastfeeding, fatigue, nursing, self‑efficacy


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-3077