Infant feeding decision: What new mothers have told us
Margaret-Rose Agostino, MSN, MSW, BA, RNC, IBCLC, Central NJ MCH Consortium, Inc/Kean University, Director, Education & Professional Development
- Contributor Affiliation(s)
- Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, USA
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Objective: To explore the infant feeding decision of new mothers and elicit their perspective regarding breastfeeding.
Design: Descriptive exploratory.
Setting: Postpartum units at seven birthing hospitals, including two tertiary perinatal centers in New Jersey and thirteen participant home telephone interviews.
Participants: 394 new mothers prior to hospital discharge; 13 interviewees including a total of eight African-American women, five who were non-WIC eligible and a total of five White women, three who were non-WIC eligible.
Main Outcome Measures: Central Jersey New Mother Survey, semi structured home telephone interviews.
Results: Knowledge regarding the health benefits of breastfeeding by the mother both during pregnancy and immediately following the birth of her baby does not necessarily reflect the mother's choice to breastfeed. Inconsistent health promotion messages from providers compounds the issue. Women indicated that they relied on printed information rather than provider based discussions as their primary source. Additionally, women indicated that they considered themselves to have the most influence with regard to their infant feeding choice.
Conclusions: By finding pathways into the lives and decisions of new mothers, health promotion education with regard to breastfeeding may be better identified. This can lead to the development of programs that have a greater cultural congruence and thus a greater impact on the infant feeding choice made by new mothers. Additional research is needed that reflects the emic perspective of women of childbearing age and their health decisions and behaviors.
39th Biennial Convention: Vision to Action: Global Health Through Collaboration
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