Breastfeeding as a Tool for Reducing Health Disparities


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Breastfeeding as a Tool for Reducing Health Disparities

  1. 1. Breastfeeding as a Tool toReduce Health Disparities Cristina Leos ( Stanford University
  2. 2. I am specifically interested in gettingLatina mothers to breastfeed for at least 6 months.This is just one behavior which canpositively impact health during early development.
  3. 3. So in thinking on how to design solutionsfor these women, I wanted to know…. How many women breastfeed already?
  4. 4. Breastfeeding Trends by Ethnicity and Income: 1999-2006
  5. 5. 74% of Mexican American infants havebeen breastfed, and unlike other ethnic groups, the rate is the same across socioeconomic status. Why does this matter?
  6. 6. This tells me…1. most Latina women are familiar with thepractice of breastfeeding, and2. even women with low socioeconomicstatus are willing to try breastfeeding atleast once
  7. 7. Why does socioeconomic status matter?
  8. 8. Education and income are closely linked to health. Generally, those with little education and/or lowsocioeconomic status (SES) experience worse health outcomes than those of higher SES. EDUCATION $$$ HEALTH
  9. 9. Breastfeeding is particularly important for Latina women with low socioeconomic status becausethis group is at such a huge health disadvantage already.This group can gain the most from the health benefits breastfeeding provides to babies.
  10. 10. Benefits of breastfeeding include: ParentingClan PCM Lifestyle Stronger immune Reduced risk for systems** childhood obesity*** Improved cognitive development* PreSchools4All*Anderson, Johnstone, & Remley (1999) **Jackson, Andrea, & Nazar (2006) ***Arenz, (2004)
  11. 11. And the health benefits increase the longer we can get women to breastfeed, this is why I am interested ingetting women to breastfeed for 6 months. This one behavior can impact Latino health and reduce health disparities.
  12. 12. So I want to know… How many women breastfeed for at least 6 months?
  13. 13. Breastfeeding at 6 Months Only ~40% of Mexican American infants are still breastfed at 6 months
  14. 14. 30% of Latina women have breastfed at some point, but have stopped breastfeeding before the 6 month mark.I am interested in designing solutions to get these women to continue breastfeeding.
  15. 15. Past trials suggest… Mobile Apps Newsletters Videos Babble Teradek …work well for women who are new to breastfeeding or otherwise promotes breastfeeding over the short-term.
  16. 16. But in order to get mothers to breastfeed forat least 6 months, I propose 2 options: Getting women to visit a Getting women to join a lactation consultant once a support group month for 6 months
  17. 17. Few people realize the importance of social support when mothers attempt to breastfeed. I predict that visiting a lactation consultant or joining a support group will get 50% of women to breastfeed for at least 6 months in 50% of the cases.
  18. 18. Thank you!For more information or to give feedback: Email me ( or Follow me on Twitter (@consider_change)