Objective: To compare office-based care (OBC) with a care model using a home nursing visit (HNV) as the initial postdischarge encounter for "well" breastfeeding newborns and mothers. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: A single academic hospital. Participants: A total of 1154 postpartum mothers intending to breastfeed and their 1169 newborns of at least 34 weeks' gestation. Interventions: Home nursing visits were scheduled no later than 2 days after discharge; OBC timing was physician determined. Outcome Measures: Mothers completed telephone surveys at 2 weeks, 2 months, and 6 months. The primary outcomewas unplanned health care utilization for mothers and newborns within 2 weeks of delivery. Other newborn outcomes were proportion seen within 2 days after discharge and breastfeeding duration. Maternal mental health, parenting competence, and satisfaction with care outcomes were assessed. Analyses followed an intent-to-treat paradigm. Results: At 2 weeks, hospital readmissions and emergency department visits were uncommon, and there were no study group differences in these outcomes or with unplanned outpatient visit frequency. Newborns in the HNV group were seen no more than 2 days after discharge more commonly than those in the OBC group (85.9% vs 78.8%) (P=.002) and were more likely to be breastfeeding at 2 weeks (92.3% vs 88.6%) (P=.04) and 2 months (72.1% vs 66.4%) (P=.05) but not 6 months. No group differences were detected for maternal mental health or satisfaction with care, but HNV group mothers had a greater parenting sense of competence (P<.01 at 2 weeks and 2 months). Conclusions: Home nursing visits are a safe and effective alternative to OBC for the initial outpatient encounter after maternity/nursery discharge with similar patterns of unplanned health care utilization and modest breastfeeding and parenting benefits. Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00360204.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health