Improving Intent to Exclusively Breastfeed in Low-Income Women Receiving Care at a Free Clinic in Northern Virginia

Author: ORCID icon
Tetteh, Nana, Nursing Practice - School of Nursing, University of Virginia
Reid, Kathryn, NR-Nursing: Faculty, University of Virginia
Drake, Emily, NR-Nursing: Faculty, University of Virginia
Hinton, Ivora, NR-Nursing: Faculty, University of Virginia

Background: Disparities in breastfeeding exclusivity, duration, and initiation have been found among minority and low-income women. Latina mothers have high breastfeeding initiation rates, but supplement with formula, usually at Day Two of life. Culturally appropriate breastfeeding education provided during the prenatal period can help to increase breastfeeding intent, initiation, duration, and exclusivity.
Purpose: This project implemented a culturally appropriate prenatal breastfeeding curriculum in a free clinic setting, and evaluated the impact on intent to initiate and exclusively breastfeed.
Methods: A pre- and post-education intervention, and curriculum evaluation, were used to determine if there was a difference or change in attitude towards breastfeeding exclusivity, duration, and initiation.
Findings/Results: Thirty-six pregnant women participated in the Ready, Set, Baby (RSB) breastfeeding education program. Two women did not meet the criteria for age. Thirty-four women aged 18-39 met the criteria and completed consent forms, with the assistance of a Spanish interpreter. Twenty-three completed the pre/post Infant Feeding Intention scale (IFI). There was high approval for the RSB breastfeeding curriculum. The data showed no change in the intention to exclusively breastfeed.
Implications/Discussion: Breastfeeding education provided in the free clinic setting is very important to the promotion, protection, and support of exclusive breastfeeding. The “Ready, Set, Baby” breastfeeding education class provided to low-income and minority women during prenatal visits can be sustainable in the free clinic setting. The materials are culturally appropriate and cost-effective.

DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
Exclusive Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Education, Low-Income Women, Breastfeeding Intent
Issued Date: