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.”
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.