226292 Postpartum breastfeeding experiences among teen mothers in North Carolina: Findings from a mixed-methods study

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Christine Tucker, MPH , Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Ghazaleh Samandari, MPH , Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Ellen Wilson, PhD, MPH , RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Background: Breastfeeding rates in the U.S. are well below the Healthy People 2010 objective of 75% of mothers initiating breastfeeding, particularly among adolescents. Teens who do initiate breastfeeding tend to breastfeed for shorter durations compared to older mothers. The purpose of this mixed-methods study is to investigate breastfeeding practices, barriers and facilitators among adolescent mothers. Methods: Quantitative descriptive analyses are conducted using data from a population-based sample of 389 teens ages 13-17 giving birth to a live born infant (NC PRAMS) between 2000 and 2007. Qualitative analyses are based on in-depth interviews with 22 Black, White and Hispanic teens residing in rural and urban areas of North Carolina. Results: In quantitative analyses, slightly more than half of North Carolina teen mothers breastfed. In both the quantitative and qualitative samples, half of teens who initiated breastfeeding stopped within the first month postpartum. PRAMS data revealed common barriers to breastfeeding initiation and continuation including not liking breastfeeding, returning to school, nipple pain, and insufficient milk. Qualitative data provided context behind the quantitative findings, elucidating the barriers and facilitators to breastfeeding from the teens' perspective and enabling further exploration of racial/ethnic differences observed in the quantitative analyses. Conclusions: Prenatal breastfeeding promotion should highlight the less well-known advantages of breastfeeding to increase teens' motivation to breastfeed. The large number of adolescents weaning within the first month points to the need for more individualized follow-up after hospital discharge to address common technical challenges and to provide assistance managing the transition back to school.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the prevalence of breastfeeding among teen mothers in North Carolina and discuss the disparities in breastfeeding initiation and continuation by race/ethnicity. 2. Identify three common barriers to breastfeeding initiation and/or continuation and describe three solutions to support teens in overcoming these barriers. 3. Identify three factors that facilitate breastfeeding among teens and discuss how to promote these factors at the individual, community, and policy level.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Breastfeeding

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As an independent consultant, I conducted the qualitative data analysis and am first author of the manuscript that is in process.
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.