215886 Just in Case: A Qualitative Study of Requests for Hospital Formula Among Low-Income Women

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

M. Jane Heinig, PhD, IBCLC , Human Lactation Center, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Katie Bowman DaMota, MAS, IBCLC , UC Davis Human Lactation Center, MilkSupport, Oakland, CA
Jennifer Leigh Bańuelos, MAS , Human Lactation Center, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Jennifer Goldbronn, RD , Human Lactation Center, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Luz Elvia Vera Becerra, MS , Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Andrea Arrescurrenaga, BS , Human Lactation Center, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
While hospital policies and medical issues are important factors in determining exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rates, medically unnecessary supplementation of infants is likely to be due, in part, to maternal request for formula. The goal of this project was to gain an understanding of the facilitating factors and decision making processes surrounding maternal request for formula in the early postpartum period. A series of 14 focus groups were conducted among 97 English and Spanish-speaking low-income participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Mothers were asked to share their infant-feeding experiences in the hospital. Separate questions were asked about mothers' decision to take formula home. Sessions were recorded, transcribed, and coded independently by 3 members of the research team. Facilitating factors for in-hospital feeding of formula differed from those leading to mothers' requests for formula to take home. Common themes related to in-hospital feeding of formula included “lack of preparation,” “breastfeeding is hard work,” and concerns about infant behavior. Mothers who requested formula to take home nearly universally cited that they needed the formula “just in case” something went wrong with breastfeeding. This powerful theme was present even among groups with high rates of EBF. Interventions to promote in-hospital exclusive breastfeeding must address mothers' real and perceived barriers, specifically addressing mothers' fears related to breastfeeding challenges and infant hunger.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
List 3 reasons why mothers request formula in the hospital, even when they had planned on exclusively breastfeeding. List 2 reasons why mothers request formula to take home from the hospital, even if they plan on exclusively breastfeeding.

Keywords: Breast Feeding, Decision-Making

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a research scientist in public health nutrition and lactation
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 5017.0: Breastfeeding Poster Session