Design A pilot randomised controlled trial was conducted with postpartum mothers to assess the feasibility and impact of note-taking during newborn teaching. Controls received standard teaching; the intervention group received pen and paper to take notes. Subjects were called 2 days post-discharge to assess infant sleep position, breastfeeding, car seat use, satisfaction and information recall.
Results 126 mothers were randomised. There was a consistent trend that intervention subjects were more likely to report infant supine sleep position (88% vs 78%, relative risks (RR) 1.13; 95% CI 0.95 to 1.34), breastfeeding (96% vs 86%, RR 1.11; 95% CI 0.99 to 1.25) and correct car seat use (98% vs 87%, RR 1.12; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.25). Satisfaction and information recall did not differ. Among first-time mothers, intervention subjects were significantly more likely to report infant supine sleep position (95% vs 65%, RR 1.46; 95% CI 1.06 to 2.00).
Conclusions Maternal note-taking is feasible and potentially efficacious in promoting desirable infant care.