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Context of Breastfeeding among Latina Mothers using a Social-ecological Approach: An Exploratory Study.


Emerging research has begun to examine the breastfeeding experiences among racial/ethnic minority women. However, limited research to date has explored the potential factors that impact Latina mothers' breastfeeding through a multi-level lens. We examined the context of breastfeeding among Latina mothers in an exploratory study. We conducted semi-structured interviews with a convenience sample of 9 Latina mothers. Guided by the social-ecological model, thematic content analysis was used. Latina mothers described individual- (e.g., knowledge of breastfeeding), interpersonal- (e.g., social support and norms), institutional- (e.g., healthcare system), and community-level (e.g., cultural norms) influences on their breastfeeding. Mothers recommended provision of bilingual and bicultural health professionals, information on US breastfeeding norms, and Latino-friendly informational materials in other languages. Considering the multi-level factors that shape Latina mothers' breastfeeding is essential to develop and implement culturally tailored initiatives and facilitate access to breastfeeding support to improve maternal and infant health.

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