Hispanic mothers want to continue making their own infant feeding decisions and they want unrestricted access to infant feeding information, according to a recent national survey. The new survey also shows that Hispanic mothers in the United States do not agree with hospital or government policy that limits their access to educational information on infant formula and samples during their hospital stay.

The nationally representative survey of mothers with children under 12 months was conducted by the bipartisan team of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQRR) and Public Opinion Strategies (POS) and sampled opinions of more than 1,000 moms (210 of which identified as Hispanic).

“Hispanic mothers are telling us that they want to feel supported by hospitals and health care providers whether they choose to breastfeed or formula feed,” says Anna Greenberg, Senior Vice President at GQRR. “Being fully informed is important to moms and they trust hospitals to not restrict their access to infant feeding information and formula samples.”

 

Key Findings

  • 62% of Hispanic mothers have already decided how to feed their babies before entering the hospital
  • 79% of Hispanic mothers get infant feeding information from their doctors and nurses
  • Hispanic moms reported not being able to produce enough breast milk, having to go back to work or school, and the cost of a breast pump as the three biggest barriers to feeding their baby breast milk
  • 93% of Hispanic mothers said restricting the use of formula in the hospital would not have changed their decision on whether or not to breastfeed or how long they breastfed
  • 91% of Hispanic mothers approve of hospitals giving out hospital discharge bags with infant formula samples and 83% said they used the samples they were given
  • 72% of Hispanic mothers opposed hospital policies that restrict hospital discharge bags with infant feeding information and infant formula samples and 82% opposed government restrictions on hospitals hospital discharge bags
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“The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) believes that breastfeeding is the ideal infant feeding choice. However, we also believe it’s important that moms receive information on both breastfeeding and infant formula,” says Jose Alejandro, President of NAHN. “According to the new survey, only 55% of Hispanic moms polled reported receiving educational material on infant formula. Hispanic mothers that do not receive information on safe preparation and use of formula may be at a disadvantage.”

When asked what actions could help increase breastfeeding in the United States, 24% of Hispanic mothers said, “guaranteeing paid maternity leave or longer maternity leave” and 28% of Hispanic mothers who received health and nutrition assistance through Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) said, “providing more support from health care professionals after mothers leave the hospital, including home visits following birth.” Hispanic moms also said they would like more breastfeeding support in the workplace.

“These are areas where health care providers, the government, and employers could do more to support Hispanic mothers to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates,” Alejandro adds.

Hispanic mothers identified a number of other barriers that either prevented them from initiating or continuing breastfeeding—the most common of which include the inability to produce enough milk and problems associated with breastfeeding (e.g., sore or cracked nipples, engorged or leaking breasts, breasts infected or abscessed).

“Many Hispanic mothers want to breastfeed,” states Greenberg, “but oftentimes they realize that when it’s time to go back to work, continuing to exclusively breastfeed and maintain their milk supply can be difficult without adequate support.”

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For more information, contact Celia Trigo Besore, MBA, CAE, Executive Director & CEO, National Association of Hispanic Nurses, [email protected].

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