Submitted to: Journal of Human Lactation
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/5/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Lederman, S.A., Hopkinson, J. 2006. Breastfeeding rates: Is the Ross mother's survey underestimating breastfeeding rates of Hispanic women? Journal of Human Lactation. 22(4):389-390. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Among Hispanics in the United States, breastfeeding initiation and duration decrease with acculturation. Therefore, in communities with significant Hispanic immigrant populations, surveys of breastfeeding rates conducted in English will provide a biased picture of feeding behaviors. Three major surveys examine breastfeeding rates in Texas: 1)the National Immunization Survey (NIS), 2) the Ross Mother's Survey (RMS), and 3) a survey conducted by Texas WIC. The NIS utilizes a universal translation service to conduct a telephone survey so that respondents may converse in the language of their choice. WIC uses a similar service to conduct in-person interviews. The RMS, however, sends a mail survey that is printed only in English. Although analysis of the RMS is weighted to account for under-represented ethnic groups, no provision is made for degree of acculturation. Thus data from less acculturated Hispanic women who are more likely to breastfeed are under-represented in this RMS. These methodological differences may explain the fact that the RMS consistently reports lower rates of breastfeeding for Texas WIC participants than either the Texas WIC survey or the NIS. A table comparing the three surveys over several years is included lower rate of breastfeeding.