Special Issue "Advances and Challenges in Breastfeeding"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Amal K. Mitra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39213, USA
Interests: breastfeeding; COVID-19; health disparities; lead poisoning; infectious diseases
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Breastfeeding is a key public health strategy to improve the health of mothers and their infants. It is the best source of nutrition for most infants and reduces the risk for some short- and long-term health conditions for both infants and mothers. Clinicians, public health advisors, nutritionists, and others have been attempting to increase breastfeeding rates for the last few decades, with varying degrees of success. We need social science researchers to help us understand the role of infant feeding in the family.

While breastfeeding rates are increasing in all racial/ethnic populations, disparities in breastfeeding continue, with the lowest rates of breastfeeding being reported among African American and Native American mothers/infants. Low rates of breastfeeding add more than $3 billion a year to medical costs for women and children in the United States. Actions are needed with a focus on health equity and decreasing disparities in breastfeeding, primarily among African American and Native American families.

This Special Issue will present original articles, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and case reports on breastfeeding. Original articles may discuss community interventions in improving barriers of breastfeeding, community-based participatory research (CBPR), theory of planned behavior, current and novel public health emergencies that threaten the support system for breastfeeding, social and ecological studies, and epidemiological studies on health benefits of breastfeeding and health risks of lack of breastfeeding. Case studies may address maternity care practices, lactation accommodation at worksites, baby-friendly initiatives, and impact of policies supporting breastfeeding.  

Prof. Dr. Amal Mitra
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Health effects
  • Vulnerable population
  • Disparities
  • Health inequalities
  • Interventions
  • CBPR
  • Policy issues
  • Barriers
  • Nutrition
  • Growth
  • Maternal health
  • Child health
  • Social theory
  • Baby Friendly Hospitals
  • Minority population

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Relationship between self-efficacy, acculturation, and breastfeeding behaviors among african-american women living in mississippi
Authors: Pamela A. Scott; Mohammad Shahbazi
Affiliation: Jackson State University College of Health Sciences, Jackson, MS 39213
Abstract: Background: According to the literature, African American women breastfeed at a significantly lower rate than other racial groups. Breastfeeding rates are particularly low in the South, with Mississippi having the lowest breastfeeding rates in the United States. Methods: To determine if there exists a significant relationship between culture and breastfeeding rates, a sample of 103 African American women were recruited from WIC programs throughout the state of Mississippi. The African American Acculturation Scale (revised) was used to measure acculturation, the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale SF was used to measure self-efficacy as it relates to breastfeeding, and the questionnaire included a survey developed by the researcher with specific questions about the breastfeeding behaviors: initiation, exclusivity, and duration. Pearson’s correlation was used to explore the relationship between the three variables: 1) Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy, 2) African American Acculturation, and 3) Breastfeeding Behaviors. Results: There were significant relationships between breastfeeding self-efficacy and breastfeeding behaviors in this sample. However, African American acculturation was only correlated with exclusive breastfeeding behavior. Conclusions: The results of this study raise concerns and suggest that socially disadvantaged African American women should be targeted for the breastfeeding promotion programs.

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