The Impact of a Community-based Doula-led Breastfeeding Support Meeting on Breastfeeding Rates and Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy in Black Women: A Program Evaluation

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Introduction: Rates of breastfeeding continuation in Black women are abysmal compared to those of their White counterparts, the United States national average, and the Healthy People 2030 goal. Synthesized findings show increases in breastfeeding continuation rates in Black women to be positively correlated with the provision of early, ongoing, high-quality education and support from healthcare professionals, community, and family. This program evaluation assessed the effects of a community-based doula-led monthly breastfeeding support meeting on breastfeeding rates and self-efficacy in pregnant and postpartum Black women receiving standard care in a health system. Methods: Program participants were surveyed on infant feeding practices initially and once monthly to elucidate breastfeeding rates for three months. A breastfeeding self-efficacy scale distributed at these checkpoints assessed changes in breastfeeding self-efficacy. Qualitative and quantitative data were utilized in descriptive statistical analyses. Results: The monthly breastfeeding support meeting increased both breastfeeding self-efficacy and breastfeeding rates in Black mothers. Discussion: Support from healthcare professionals, community, and family and culturally appropriate, multitiered educational opportunities are instrumental in increasing breastfeeding continuation rates in Black women.

DNP project
Black women, Breast feeding