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Group Cell Phones Are Feasible and Acceptable for Promoting Optimal Breastfeeding Practices in a Women’s Microcredit Program in Nigeria


Flax, Valerie L.; Ibrahim, Alawiyatu Usman; Negerie, Mekebeb; Yakubu, Danjuma; Leatherman, Sheila; & Bentley, Margaret E. (2017). Group Cell Phones Are Feasible and Acceptable for Promoting Optimal Breastfeeding Practices in a Women's Microcredit Program in Nigeria. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 13(1), e12261. PMCID: PMC5027179


As part of a breastfeeding promotion intervention trial in Nigeria, we provided one cell phone per group of 5-7 microcredit clients and instructed the group's cell phone recipient to share weekly breastfeeding voice and text messages with group members. We measured the feasibility and acceptability of using group cell phones by conducting semi-structured exit interviews with 195 microcredit clients whose babies were born during the intervention (target group), in-depth interviews with eight phone recipients and nine non-phone recipients, and 16 focus group discussions with other microcredit clients. Women in the target group said the group phone worked well or very well (64%). They were motivated to try the recommended practices because they trusted the information (58%) and had support from others (35%). Approximately 44% of target women reported that their groups met and shared messages at least once a week. Women in groups that met at least weekly had higher odds of exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months (OR 5.6, 95% CI 1.6, 19.7) than women in groups that never met. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions indicated that non-phone recipients had positive feelings towards phone recipients, the group phone met participants' needs, and messages were often shared outside the group. In conclusion, group cell phone messaging to promote breastfeeding among microcredit clients is feasible and acceptable and can be part of an effective behaviour change package.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Maternal & Child Nutrition


Flax, Valerie L.
Ibrahim, Alawiyatu Usman
Negerie, Mekebeb
Yakubu, Danjuma
Leatherman, Sheila
Bentley, Margaret E.