Exploring the potential of the internet to motivate breastfeeding

Janine Stockdale*, marlene sinclair, W. George Kernoban, John M. Keller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Maternal confidence is a vital component of successful breastfeeding and with 15 million websites aimed at women seeking breastfeeding 'instruction', the internet is a resource with potential to motivate. Aim. To assess the motivational content of breastfeeding websites in relation to the confidence and relevance components of Keller's ARCS model of motivational instructional design. Method. An exploratory observation study using a convenience sample of 30 breastfeeding websites accessed through search engines and directories in an effort to replicate women's information-seeking behaviour. The websites promised information on successful breastfeeding and effective treatment of nipple pain, commonly classified in breastfeeding texts as a problem. Exclusion criteria included websites where informational access required financial commitment. Using a coding system based on the ARCS model, websites were classified on a five-point scale according to how they met motivational criteria. Results. Websites' promises were often misleading, and the observers agreed that none met all criteria for being 'motivational'. Conclusions. Although the internet is a source of breastfeeding information, it appears that available websites fail to take the opportunity to motivate women by incorporating relevance and confidence-building strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalEvidence Based Midwifery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • ARCS
  • Breastfeeding
  • Confidence
  • Internet
  • Midwives
  • Motivational instructional design models
  • Relevance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Maternity and Midwifery


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the potential of the internet to motivate breastfeeding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this