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Digital mentoring on expressing breast milk for working mothers

02 June 2024
Volume 32 · Issue 6



Working mothers may find it difficult to maintain exclusive breastfeeding; this challenge can be addressed through expressing breast milk. However, barriers to expressing breast milk include perceived insufficient milk supply and a lack of knowledge on pumping, storing and giving breast milk to babies. This study's aim was to identify the effectiveness of expressed breast milk assistance, through the ASIPku mobile application, among working mothers in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.


This quasi-experimental study involved 100 participants (intervention: n=50, control: n=50), selected using cluster randomised trials. Questionnaires were used to assess exclusive breastfeeding and use of the app in the intervention group. Chi-squared tests were used for data analysis.


Assistance using mobile applications had a significant effect on exclusive breastfeeding among working mothers in North Sulawesi (P<0.001).


Digital mentoring was effective in improving the rate of exclusive breastfeeding. By providing information on expressing breast milk, these apps can be used to support women and make exclusive breastfeeding more accessible to working mothers.

Expressing breast milk is an alternative to direct breastfeeding that can allow mothers greater flexibility in when and where babies are fed, while maintaining exclusive breastfeeding. When mothers return to work, expressing breast milk can allow for continued exclusive breastfeeding, at a time when it can be difficult to breastfeed directly (Rokom, 2011; Danso, 2014).

In Indonesia, mothers are allowed 3 months maternity leave, after which it is expected that they will return to work (Central Government Indonesia, 2003). While there are national standards (Ministry of Health, 2013) that support breastfeeding mothers and exclusive breastfeeding, few workplaces have policies that strictly enforce these standards. Additionally, the number of working women, and therefore the number of working mothers, may be increasing. In Manado, a city in Indonesia, data from the Central Statistics Agency (2018) show that the number of women in the workplace is increasing; the city had 11 260 working women in 2017 and 12 343 in 2018. This increase in the number of working women may impact exclusive breastfeeding.

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