Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing
To examine the influence of breastfeeding peer counseling on the breastfeeding experiences of African American mothers who participated in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Qualitative study using focus groups.
Two WIC clinics in Southeast Wisconsin were used for recruitment and data collection.
A convenience sample of nine African American mothers participated in one of two focus groups.
The women responded to a series of open-ended questions about their breastfeeding experiences and the effect of breastfeeding peer counselors (BPCs). Content and thematic analyses were used to analyze patterns related to the influence of BPCs on breastfeeding.
Four themes were categorized: Educating With Truth, Validating for Confidence, Countering Others' Negativity, and Supporting With Solutions. Mothers in this study expressed positive reactions to educational, emotional, and social support from BPCs. The mothers noted that the contact they had with BPCs had a direct positive influence on their breastfeeding experiences. However, the contact from BPCs varied between the two WIC clinics.
The findings demonstrate the positive effects of BPCs on breastfeeding experiences among African American WIC participants. Findings from this study can guide future explorations using BPCs. Interventions are needed to develop standardized guidelines to bring about homogeneity of, better access to, and greater use of BPCs.
Robinson, Karen Marie; VandeVusse, Leona; and Foster, Jamarrah, "Reactions of Low-Income African American Women to Breastfeeding Peer Counselors" (2016). College of Nursing Faculty Research and Publications. 793.
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