266289 A qualitative look into breastfeeding practices: The pleasures and the pains

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Rachel Powell, MPH, CHES, CPH , Department: Health Promotion & Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Christina Whitworth, BS , Foods and Nutrition Department, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Matthew Fayoyin, BA , Health Policy and Mangament, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Karen Schlanger, MPH , Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Ann Sears, M, Ed , WIC Program, Northeast Health District, Athens, GA
Ashley Wells, MPH, CHES , Georgia Public Health Training Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Marsha Davis, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Alex Kojo Anderson, PhD, MPH, CPH , Department of Foods & Nutrition, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Dietetic Association, and the Surgeon General all recognize breastfeeding as the preferred method of feeding for newborns and infants. Yet, despite these endorsements, most southern states, including Georgia, did not attain the Healthy People 2010 objectives for breastfeeding, due in part to lack and timing of clinical support. Studies show pediatricians are now receiving more education on breastfeeding now than they did in earlier decades. To better understand what influences new mothers decisions about breastfeeding, we interviewed and led focus group discussions with mothers from Athens-Clarke County, Georgia who delivered within the past year, including those who chose not to breastfeed, those who breastfed for less than one month, and those who breastfed for at least six months. This qualitative study attempts to capture these women's perception of breastfeeding resources in the community, as well as, barriers that hindered their ability to successfully breastfeed. Our preliminary analysis of the data reveal that receipt of breastfeeding education prior to and during pregnancy, and the support given by clinical staff are important influences for initiating breastfeeding, but ongoing social support, from breastfeeding peer counselors and family members, are particularly important for the continuation. Our findings indicate that incorporating more breastfeeding education during preconception and prenatal visits as well as increasing the presence of breastfeeding peer counselors in communities may help improve breastfeeding rates and acceptance of the practice in Athens-Clarke County.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1.) Compare social support to clinical support for initiation and continuation of breastfeeding 2.) Identify areas of improvement for clinical staff in breastfeeding education, support, and encouragement 3.) Identify citywide resources and opportunities for breastfeeding in Athens, Clarke County, Georgia

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because as a PhD Student in Health Promotion & Behavior, I worked on this project. Also, I have a MPH in Maternal & Child Health/Health Education & Communication and have past experience working with breastfeeding moms on research projects.
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.