The Latino community is committed to breast-feeding, according to a recent study.

This is good news, because research suggests that breastfeeding may put newborns and moms at lower risk for diabetes and other chronic diseases, according to a Visalia Delta-Times report.

First-generation Latinas overwhelmingly choose to breastfeed. “That’s not the real challenge for us,” said Lorena Gonzalez, one of the study’s organizers, “it’s helping those mothers sustain breast-feeding and pass on the value of breast-feeding.”

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The study, a collaboration between Urban Strategies, Vision y Compromioso, and the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency with funding from the Kellogg Foundation, specifically looks at how supportive workplaces in the Latino community are of women who breastfeed. Focus groups were held in nine locations across the country that addressed breastfeeding business practices in the Latino community.

The study found that some employers make it difficult for women to continue to breastfeed, like not offering a breast-feeding room, a refrigerator for pumped milk, or time to feed the child.

The data gathered is for Latino Best Start, a health and nutrition project attempting to promote, educate, and support the practice of exclusive breast-feeding in the Latino community.

“What we know about the practice of breast-feeding is that the white community practices breast-feeding well. The African-American community does not,” Gonzalez said. Only 8 percent of African American babies exclusively breast-fed at six months, according to the United States Surgeon General.

Organizers of the study don’t want the same to happen to the Latino community.

Once the data from the focus groups are analyzed, the next steps could include a campaign for parents, health professional, or even the business community.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for posting this article! Mothers should consider developing a breastfeeding/pumping plan BEFORE their maternity leave so everyone is on the same page when mom starts back to work. The US Breastfeeding Committee has a great website for mothers and employers: http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/Employment/WorkplaceSupport/tabid/105/Default.aspx

    In order to further ensure successful breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity in Latina mothers, there needs to be more culturally competent and Spanish language childbirth education so women can become informed as to how birthing practices influence breastfeeding at birth, more community breastfeeding support groups/circles/cafes led by Latina birth professionals and Pediatricians whom are better education on the science of breastfeeding. Latino children are experiencing disproportionate rates of obesity and diabetes. Breastfeeding can serve as THE BEST protection against these chronic diseases.

    Our wonderful cultural practices and traditions are being lost.

    Irina – Mom of 2

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