Geodemographies of Breastfeeding Support

Tony H. Grubesic, Kelly M. Durbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Mother-to-mother breastfeeding support organizations provide important information and guidance for helping mothers initiate and maintain breastfeeding, postpartum. However, the availability of this support is limited by a constellation of barriers, including race, culture, socioeconomic status, and geography. Research aims: To identify the geodemographic composition of communities where breastfeeding support was available from the mother-to-mother support organizations Breastfeeding USA and La Leche League, identify underlying issues of equity, and highlight locations where more support resources may be needed. Methods: The locations of mother-to-mother support meetings were collected by ZIP code (N = 180) and were combined with a geodemographic database and exploratory spatial data analysis to explore the compositional characteristics of communities served (N = 1,173). Results: Significant gaps in the geographic distribution of breastfeeding support existed. While many metropolitan areas benefited from numerous mother-to-mother support groups and peer counselors, the geographic footprint of this support favored communities that were white, affluent, and suburban. Conclusion: Spatial analytics combined with geodemographic analysis provide a unique perspective into the diverse landscape of mother-to-mother breastfeeding support groups at a local level. Our results highlighted inequities in the distribution of support provided and prescriptive guidance regarding where more resources may be needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • access to care
  • breastfeeding
  • breastfeeding support
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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