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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4272.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - Board 6

Abstract #115081

Exploring early mix-feeding practices among latinas residing in san bernardino and riverside counties

Yeira Rodriguez, MPHc, Health Promotion & Education and Maternal and Child Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda University, Nichol Hall, Loma Linda, CA 92350, 909-307-1711, yeirar@msn.com and Carol Melcher, MPH, RN, Perinatal Services Network, Loma Linda University Medical Center, 11215 Mountain View, Loma Linda, CA 92354.

BACKGROUND: Latinas in the United States still fall behind the national averages of exclusive breastfeeding in comparison to the rates of higher income and more formally educated Caucasian women. Research has documented several unique cultural aspects influencing Latinas breastfeeding such as the role of modesty and beliefs about colostrum being seen as “old” milk and not being offered to newborn infants because it is not “new” milk (Riordan & Gill-Hopple, 2001). The purpose of this study was to explore cultural practices, beliefs, attitudes, or potential perceived barriers about early mix-feeding at a university hospital in San Bernardino, CA. Insight provided by this population was considered and incorporated into a report for local health professionals and breastfeeding advocates. Preventative efforts have been mobilizing to prepare for the increasing Latino population and to strive towards decreasing the health disparities among this minority group. METHODS: Qualitative methods were used to explore the early infant feeding practices of 15 Latinas between the ages of 18-40. The participants were recruited from the postpartum ward of the university hospital within 72 hours of delivery. Ethnographic observations were conducted, 15 informal interviews were conducted in the participants primary language (English and/or Spanish). Using grounded theory methods, the resulting transcripts were coded and themed for emerging response patterns. RESULTS: Results indicated that Latinas that gave birth at the university hospital in San Bernardino, CA had insufficient education on exclusive breastfeeding, a lack of breastfeeding support, and perceived unsupportive breastfeeding hospital practices and also encounter a language barrier.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Latinas

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Breastfeeding and Infant Nutrition Policy and Practice

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA