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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 "Women's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 7968

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Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39213, USA
Interests: COVID-19; monkeypox; sleep disorders; health disparities; breastfeeding; lead poisoning
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 K. 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 monthly 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 2500 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.

Keywords

  • 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 (4 papers)

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13 pages, 496 KiB  
Article
Disparities in Infant Nutrition: WIC Participation and Rates of Breastfeeding in Florida
by Sarah G. Buxbaum, Olumide Arigbede, Arlesia Mathis, Fran Close, Sandra G. Suther, Elizabeth Mazzio, Remelda Saunders-Jones, Karam F. A. Soliman and Selina F. Darling-Reed
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(11), 5988; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20115988 - 29 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1729
Abstract
Being cognizant of the pronounced health advantages of breastfeeding for both the nursing mother and her infant, the breastfeeding dyad, we examined breastfeeding rates among Floridian women who gave birth from 2012 to 2014 (N = 639,052). We investigated the associations between [...] Read more.
Being cognizant of the pronounced health advantages of breastfeeding for both the nursing mother and her infant, the breastfeeding dyad, we examined breastfeeding rates among Floridian women who gave birth from 2012 to 2014 (N = 639,052). We investigated the associations between breastfeeding initiation and WIC-based breastfeeding support (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), education level, and race and ethnicity. We compared the percentage of breastfeeding mothers between those in the WIC program and those who were not, and we compared breastfeeding rates across racial and ethnic groups. Consistent with previous reports, black newborns in this study were breastfed at lower rates than other racial groups, and WIC program participants were less likely to breastfeed than non-WIC program participants. However, by breaking down the data by education level and race, and ethnicity, we see a significantly increased rate of breastfeeding due to WIC participation for both Hispanic and black women with less than a high school education. Further, we assessed differences by insurance type, race, and WIC participation. In multivariable logistic regression, we showed that the WIC program has a significant positive impact on breastfeeding rates for all but white non-Hispanic mothers, independent of sociodemographic and geographic variables. We also note a trend of increasing breastfeeding rates over the study period (p-value < 0.0001), which has positive public health implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Breastfeeding)
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19 pages, 354 KiB  
Article
The Financial Costs of Mass Media Interventions Used for Improving Breastfeeding Practices in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Vietnam
by Tina G. Sanghvi, Rick Homan, Thomas Forissier, Patricia Preware, Auwalu Kawu, Tuan T. Nguyen and Roger Mathisen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(24), 16923; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416923 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2306
Abstract
Breastfeeding is essential for child survival but globally less than fifty percent of infants receive adequate breastfeeding. Gaps in breastfeeding knowledge and misinformation are widespread. Mass media aims to motivate mothers and families, encourage care-seeking, improve social norms, and counteract misleading advertising. However, [...] Read more.
Breastfeeding is essential for child survival but globally less than fifty percent of infants receive adequate breastfeeding. Gaps in breastfeeding knowledge and misinformation are widespread. Mass media aims to motivate mothers and families, encourage care-seeking, improve social norms, and counteract misleading advertising. However, the costs and coverage of mass media are not well documented. Our study provides a cost-accounting of four large-scale mass media interventions and coverage obtained through mass media. We retrospectively calculated annual costs and costs per beneficiary of mass media interventions based on expenditure records in four countries. The interventions were a part of multi-component breastfeeding strategies in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Vietnam. Annual costs ranged from 566,366 USD in Nigeria to 1,210,286 USD in Vietnam. The number of mothers of children under two years and pregnant women ranged from 685,257 to 5,566,882, and all designated recipients reached during the life of programs ranged from 1,439,040 to 11,690,453 in Burkina Faso and Bangladesh, respectively. The cost per mother varied from USD 0.13 USD in Bangladesh to 0.85 USD in Burkina Faso. Evaluations showed that mass media interventions reached high coverage and frequent exposure. This analysis documents the financial costs and budgetary needs for implementing mass media components of large-scale breastfeeding programs. It provides annual costs, cost structures, and coverage achieved through mass media interventions in four low- and middle-income countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Breastfeeding)
9 pages, 357 KiB  
Article
Influential Factors of Breastfeeding after Assisted Reproduction: A Spanish Cohort
by Jorge Diaz Sáez, José Granero-Molina, María M. López-Rodríguez, Longinos Aceituno Velasco, Cayetano Fernández-Sola, José Manuel Hernández-Padilla and Isabel María Fernández-Medina
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2673; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052673 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1619
Abstract
The impact of assisted reproduction techniques (ART) when starting to breastfeed is an important issue that has been sparsely addressed in scientific literature and yet has contradictory results. This study aims to determine the relation between the mode of fertilization and breastfeeding by [...] Read more.
The impact of assisted reproduction techniques (ART) when starting to breastfeed is an important issue that has been sparsely addressed in scientific literature and yet has contradictory results. This study aims to determine the relation between the mode of fertilization and breastfeeding by means of a retrospective longitudinal cohort study that included newborns and mothers who gave birth between 2012 and 2019 in a third-level regional hospital. Data were collected from a total of 11,285 women and newborns, of which 302 (2.6%) used ART. Logistic regression was used to establish models that determine the administration of exclusive breastfeeding (BF). Among the 1208 analyzed participants, 30% conceived using fertility treatment. In this group of participants, BF was less prevalent, both in the delivery room (25.8% versus 45.5%; p < 0.001) and when discharged from hospital (42.1% versus 57.9%; p < 0.001). Healthy newborns and BF in the delivery room were predictors of BF when discharged. On the other hand, the use of ART, an Apgar score lower than 7 at birth, the use of an epidural and a premature or underweight baby are considered negative predictors of exclusive BF when discharged. It is necessary to offer greater support for all mothers regarding BF, especially those who have conceived through ART, even more so in those cases that involve an epidural and/or caesarean section, starting throughout the dilation process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Breastfeeding)

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8 pages, 1023 KiB  
Brief Report
Mothers’ Employment and Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices: A Brief Report from Jerusalem Governorate
by Saif Amer and Elham Kateeb
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032066 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1254
Abstract
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that women exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and continue breastfeeding until two years of age. However, breastfeeding is declining, especially in developing countries. This study aims to describe breastfeeding habits and demographic factors influencing these [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that women exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and continue breastfeeding until two years of age. However, breastfeeding is declining, especially in developing countries. This study aims to describe breastfeeding habits and demographic factors influencing these practices in Jerusalem Governorate. Self-reporting questionnaires were sent to 481 mothers of preschoolers asking about the type of feeding used with their children, breastfeeding exclusively, bottle feeding, and a combination of both. Data were also collected about the duration of breastfeeding to classify women into those who adhered to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and those who did not. We received 471 complete questionnaires. Two hundred and five mothers exclusively breastfed their children for 6 months or more (44.1%). Almost 11% (n = 52) used bottle feeding exclusively, and 44.2% (n = 208) combined both breastfeeding and bottle feeding. Having a full-time job increased the chance of not breastfeeding children (π2 = 9.2, p = 0.002), and being a stay-at-mother increased the chance of exclusive breastfeeding (π2 = 4.4, p = 0.044). In the final model, having a preterm baby and being a stay-at-home mother increased the odds of exclusively breastfeeding by 3.6 and 2.3, respectively. On the other hand, having a full-time job decreased the odds by 0.3. A mother’s full-time employment was a determinant factor in abandoning exclusive breastfeeding before 6 months. Policies, regulations, and laws supporting the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding practices until 6 months in mothers as recommended by the WHO should be reinforced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Breastfeeding)
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