241395 Evaluation of Breastfeeding Support Groups in Maricopa County: A Geospatial Analysis

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jennie Bever, PhD, IBCLC , College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Amanda L. Watkins, MS, RD, IBCLC, RLC , College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Joan E. Dodgson, RN MPH PhD , College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoeniz, AZ
Currently, 78.5% of babies born in Arizona are breastfed soon after birth, but exclusive breastfeeding rates decline sharply thereafter, with only 11% of Arizona infants breastfeeding at 6 months. A lack of adequate community level lactation resources is often cited as the cause for this decline, yet no systematic analysis of lactation resources available to breastfeeding mothers in Arizona has ever been undertaken. The aim of this investigation was to (1) determine the community-based breastfeeding supports and services offered by breastfeeding support groups in Maricopa County and (2) Evaluate the accessibility and adequacy of these groups for the needs of the population. Maricopa County is the 4th largest county in the US with a population of over 4 million. We conducted a cross-sectional self-report telephone survey of all active breastfeeding support groups in Maricopa County, including La Leche League (n = 15), WIC (n=5), and hospital-based (n= 6) support groups and geographically mapped the group locations. Using GIS mapping software, our findings describe visually the geographic distribution of these services, the associated breastfeeding rates, characteristics of the services provided, and the differences in demographic variables occurring between hospital based, WIC and La Leche support groups. Clear differences were found in the socio-economic and ethnic demographics of the women served by the two types of groups, which were congruent with the distribution breastfeeding rates. Breastfeeding disparities were visible within these distributions. Recommendations for facilitating additional community-based services in underserved areas are presented.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the ways geospacial mapping can facilitate ansysis of community breastfeeding services.

Keywords: Breast Feeding, Geocoding

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present this project because I did the analysis and have extensive research experience
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.