Black Non-Hispanic Mothers’ Perceptions About the Promotion of Infant-Feeding Methods by Nurses and Physicians



Objective:  To describe reports of low-income Black non-Hispanic women about the promotion of infant-feeding methods by nurses and physicians.

Design:  Ethnographic research conducted over 18 months with interviewing and participant observation of informants.

Setting:  The study took place in a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children clinic and neighborhood in the New York metropolitan area.

Participants:  130 Black non-Hispanic mothers enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children were general informants. From this group, 11 primiparous key informants were selected for close follow-up during pregnancy and the 1st postpartum year.

Main Outcome Measures:  Audiotaped interviews and field notes were analyzed for mothers’ descriptions of infant-feeding education and support from nurses and physicians.

Findings:  The informants reported limited breastfeeding education and support during pregnancy, childbirth stay in neonatal intensive care unit, postpartum, and recovery in the community. They also expressed trust/distrust concerns and varying degrees of anxiety about the ways they were treated by nurses and physicians.

Conclusions:  To decrease disparities in breastfeeding, this research suggests that health care professionals should focus their efforts on the development of trusting relationships and continuity of care along with clear, consistent breastfeeding education and support. JOGNN, 35, 173-180; 2006. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2006.00033.x