226472 A geographic comparison of disparities in breastfeeding patterns and the availability of lactation services: A community analysis of Maricopa County, Arizona

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Joan E. Dodgson, PhD MPH RN , College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoeniz, AZ
Amanda L. Watkins, MS, RD, IBCLC, RLC , College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Lactation services are essential for many women in overcoming challenges that may arise while breastfeeding. According to the CDC Breastfeeding Report Card, 76.6 % of all women in Arizona initiate breastfeeding, which exceeds the 2010 objective (75%). On other outcome indicators, Arizona falls below recommended targets. On the CDC's mPINC scoring of process indicators of supportive breastfeeding environments, Arizona's score (62) falls just below the national mean (63). Maricopa County, the largest and most populous county within the state, has substantially lower breastfeeding rates in minority populations than state averages, particularly within African Americans and Native Americans. The study purpose was to (1) identify and characterize existing lactation services and (2) compare the service locations with breastfeeding rates geographically. Telephone surveying and GIS mapping were employed. CDC outcome and process indicators were used to create the telephone survey; hospitals, WIC offices, LaLeche League leaders, Lactation Consultants and Pediatrician offices were surveyed. Analysis revealed wide variation in definitions of breastfeeding support services, lack of knowledge about community resources, and inconsistencies in evidence-based practices. Using GIS mapping software existing breastfeeding rate data segmented by neighborhoods were layered on top of the lactation service information, then an additional layering of ethnicity and SES were done. Results are displayed in map format, allowing visual as well as precise determinations of underserved areas. It is essential that breastfeeding promotion and support program planning target the underserved; developing community-level understanding of service availability opens new avenues for efficacy in resource distribution and coordination of services.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Compare two differences in breastfeeding rates found in areas with high, moderate and low availability of lactation services.

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Community Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator for this study and have designed, implemented and analyzed these data.
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.