Submitted to: University of Texas Medical Center Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2006
Publication Date: December 1, 2006
Citation: Lovera, D. 2006. Duration of breastfeeding associated with the Breastfeeding Peer Support Program for Husbands and Fathers of Brownsville, Texas WIC participants [thesis]. University of Texas Medical Center Publication. 40 p. Interpretive Summary: Breastfeeding rates at six months and beyond are still short from the Healthy People 2010 objectives. Studies agree that having father-to-father discussions can help educate both parents, which may affect breastfeeding rates and help reduce health care costs. In this study, we evaluated whether participation in the pilot Peer Dad Program had an effect on breastfeeding initiation and duration. The current findings showed that there was an increase in breastfeeding duration, but does not differ significantly. Mothers who breastfed for less than six months had previous breastfeeding experience, had difficulty nursing, thought that breastmilk was not enough for the infant, thought that they were not producing enough milk, and reported that they had too many household duties. Mothers who continued at six months had advanced maternal education. Fathers who had less than a high school education supported their spouse to breastfeeding until six months. This study concluded that a mother’s decision to continue or terminate breastfeeding may be influenced by the father. Recommendations based on the data will be used to guide WIC breastfeeding counselors on discussion topics and offer support based on the parents needs and finding other ways to educate fathers.
Technical Abstract: Our objective was to explore the association between participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) pilot Peer Dad Program and duration of breastfeeding. This was a retrospective cohort study conducted along the Texas-Mexico border. Participants included 302 couples (200 breastfeeding mothers; 102 fathers; age 20-55). Breastfeeding at six months was more likely among mothers with more than a high school education and whose infant was introduced a pacifier at the hospital. Fathers with less than a high school education were more likely to support their spouse to breastfeed at six months. Breastfeeding less than six months was more likely among mothers who previously breastfed, had difficulty nursing, who thought that breastmilk was not enough for the infant, who thought they were not producing enough milk, and who reported they had too many household duties. Although not significant, if fathers participated in the Peer Dad Program, the mother was more likely to continue breastfeeding at six months. Results of this evaluation will be used to develop educational interventions to improve breastfeeding knowledge and increase breastfeeding duration rates among couples.