Online Program

Knowledge and attitudes towards breastfeeding among African American men in dallas, Texas

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Nora Gimpel, MD, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Patti Pagels, MPAS, PA-C, Department of Family Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX
Tiffany Kindratt, MPH, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX
Background: Racial and ethnic disparities exist in breastfeeding initiation and duration to 6 months with the lowest rates reported among African American infants. To address this deficit, the purpose of this study was to describe the knowledge and attitudes towards breastfeeding among African American men. Methods: Men (N=81) were recruited from 3 barbershops. Inclusion criteria were ages18 and older and African American race. Men were asked to complete a short survey (33 questions) evaluating their knowledge, attitudes and involvement in breastfeeding. Results: Most had witnessed breastfeeding (85%) and 58% preferred their infants to be breastfed. A majority agreed that breast milk is healthier for the baby (86%) and cheaper than formula (80%). Only 47% knew that breastfeeding helps prevent infant infections and 15% knew that breastfeeding helps prevent breast cancer in the mother. Significant differences were found when comparing knowledge and attitudes by place of birth and age. Only 30% of foreign-born men knew that a mother can pass tobacco and alcohol to her baby through the breast milk compared to 65% of US-born men (p=0.038). Almost half of men ages 18-25 (43%) and ages 25-40 (48%) felt that breastfeeding should not occur in public compared to only 4% of men over 40 (p=0.005). Conclusions: Our results revealed a strong desire for infant breastfeeding among African American males yet knowledge is limited on the health benefits. These findings emphasize the need for health education efforts to improve attitudes towards breastfeeding in public and address gaps in knowledge among this population.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Identify knowledge and attitudes towards breastfeeding among the African American male population. Design appropriate health education interventions to address gaps in knowledge and negative attitudes towards breastfeeding.

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research interests include community-based participatory research, medical education and immigrant health. I have experience giving several oral and poster presentations at APHA and several other academic conferences.
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.