American Indian breastfeeding attitudes and practices in Minnesota

Kristine L. Rhodes, Wendy L Hellerstedt, Cynthia S Davey, Phyllis L. Pirie, Kathleen A. Daly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: We examined the breastfeeding attitudes and practices in an American Indian population in Minnesota. Methods: We interviewed women prenatally (n = 380), at 2-weeks (n = 342) and at 6-months postpartum (n = 256). We conducted multivariable analyses to examine the demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal correlates of breastfeeding initiation and duration. Results: Factors positively associated with breastfeeding initiation included positive breastfeeding attitudes and social support for breastfeeding from the woman's husband/boyfriend and her mother. Factors positively associated with breastfeeding at 2-weeks postpartum were support from the woman's mother and positive attitudes about breastfeeding. The prenatal use of traditional American Indian medicines and cigarette smoking were both significantly associated with breastfeeding at 6-months postpartum. Conclusions: Programs to encourage breastfeeding in American Indian communities may be strengthened with protocols to encourage social support, recognition of the perceived health, developmental, and practical benefits of breastfeeding, and a focus on traditional American Indian health practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S46-S54
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Volume12
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Keywords

  • American Indian
  • Breast feeding
  • Infant health
  • Perinatal health
  • Social support
  • Traditional medicine

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