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Assessing Infant Breastfeeding Beliefs Among Low-Income Mexican Americans

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Focus groups were conducted with low-income, pregnant women and new mothers receiving services from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC program) along with their male partners and their mothers. All participants were Hispanics of Mexican American origin. The topics for the focus-group discussions were breastfeeding beliefs and perceptions. All participants were aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. Participants identified time, embarrassment, and pain as barriers to breastfeeding; discussed decision-making efforts regarding breastfeeding; identified cultural beliefs related to breastfeeding; and discussed the lack of care-provider support for breastfeeding.

Keywords: Mexican Americans; breastfeeding; cultural beliefs

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Sara Gill is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Nursing Care, School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. 2: Elizabeth Reifsnider is an associate professor in the Department of Chronic Nursing Care, School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. 3: Angela Mann is a former graduate student from the Schools of Nursing and Public Health University at the Texas Health Science Centers at San Antonio and Houston. 4: Patty Villarreal is a pediatric nurse practitioner for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District in Texas. 5: Mindy Tinkle is the intramural program director for research and training at the National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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