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Dads, community health care workers' roles in supporting low-income moms with breast feeding
Date:10/16/2011

Furman "The challenge at hand is how to reach, recruit and engage these men in breastfeeding promotion."

The study was conducted with support of Community Endeavors Foundation and the Cleveland Department of Public Health MomsFirst Program.

The second study also used two focus groups to elicit information from community health workers who are in a unique position to impact their clients' health decisions. But many of the community health workers described negative personal breastfeeding experiences, a need for additional knowledge about breastfeeding, and concerns about the administrative burden of new mandates.

According to Dr. Furman, "These factors will need to be considered in design of a breastfeeding promotion effort."

With the support of UH Rainbow's community partner, the Cleveland Department of Public Health MomsFirst Program, Dr. Furman and her colleagues examined views about breastfeeding among community health workers who perform home visits for clients who are high-risk expectant and delivered mothers of the MomsFirst Program. MomsFirst is a City of Cleveland program that offers case management and home visit services to pregnant moms until their baby reaches age one. The goal of MomsFirst is to reduce the number of babies who die before their first year.

In the focus groups, researchers explored barriers to breastfeeding promotion and intervention design ideas. Themes that emerged were breastfeeding is "hard" for young mothers, with multiple obstacles identified, including lack of support in the home ("her mother didn't breastfeed"), pain with nursing, time required, perceived incompatibility with medications, issues with lifestyle and employment, body image concerns ("saggy breasts"), "bad habits" (smoking and partying), and "no equipment" (breast pumps); expected sources of support for their clients have not been helpful (for example, post-partum in-hospital care and doctor office visits) and in-home "
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Contact: Vic Gideon
vic.gideon@uhhospitals.org
216-970-8136
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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