African-American mothers are both less likely to start and less like to continue breast-feeding their babies, compared with mothers of other ethnicities, a study has found.
For the study, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois surveyed African-American women in Champaign County who were in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
Julia Kim, in her study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, said common barriers to breast-feeding included not having social support or saying it felt “abnormal.”
Men and the breast-feeding mothers’ own mothers are crucial support, Kim said.
“Many times the men would say negative comments to the moms. Small negative comments can add up and make it harder for the moms to continue breast-feeding,” Kim said.