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Breastfeeding corollaries: Medical advice and cultural practices as influences in low -income women's feeding choices

Jeanne M Stolzer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The Surgeon General of the United States (2000) indicated that breastfeeding is the ideal method of feeding and nurturing children. As such, it contributes to optimal mother and child trajectories. This study examined the relationship between low income women's reported feeding choices and medical providers' advice concerning the benefits of breastfeeding, exposure to breastfeeding in childhood and adulthood, and particular maternal practices (i.e., availability of breastfeeding role models, uni-sleeping practices, pacifier use, introduction of solid foods prior to six months of ages, and scheduled feeding routines). ^ One hundred and six women participating in the federally funded WIC program in a mid-sized Midwestern community responded to the Ecology of Breastfeeding Survey (EBS) specifically designed for this project. Results of five one way ANOVAs, cumulative frequencies, and qualitative analysis of open-ended survey questions suggested that women's reported feeding choices (i.e., breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, both) were influenced significantly by their exposure to breastfeeding role models in adulthood. Mothers indicated that medical providers provided information on about only half of the topics presented in the Surgeon General's HHS Blueprint for Action Plan on Breastfeeding. Limitations of the study, implications, and suggestions for future research were provided. ^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

Recommended Citation

Stolzer, Jeanne M, "Breastfeeding corollaries: Medical advice and cultural practices as influences in low -income women's feeding choices" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3055292.