Retrospective Analysis of Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices among Four Hispanic Subgroups in New York's EFNEP

  • Helena Pachón
    Department of International Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322
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  • Christine Olson
    Address for correspondence: Christine Olson, Ph.D., R.D., Division of Nutritional Sciences, 376 MVR Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; Tel: (607) 255-2634; Fax: (607) 255-0178.
    Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853
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      This research was carried out to describe exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) practices and their correlates among four Hispanic subgroups of women living in New York State. Hispanic women (n = 136) enrolled in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) were asked about their infant feeding practices at birth and sociodemographic characteristics. Specifically, Puerto Rican (n = 59), South American (n = 23), Central American (n = 15), and Dominican (n = 39) women were studied. Chi-square, logistic regression, and pattern analyses were used to identify EBF correlates. Overall, 40% of the Hispanic infants surveyed were EBF. The difference in EBF incidence among subgroups was significant (p = .002): Puerto Rican, 27.6%; South American, 69.6%; Central American, 60.0%; and Dominican, 33.3%. South American women were 4.072 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.100-15.071) times more likely than Puerto Rican women to EBF. Hispanic women who were not born in the mainland U.S. were 5.833 (95% CI: 1.043–32.619) times more likely to EBF than women born on the mainland U.S. These data indicate that there are differences in EBF and its correlates among Hispanic subgroups. Results suggest the need for (1) larger studies examining EBF among Hispanic subgroups and (2) subgroup-specific intervention strategies to more effectively promote and support breastfeeding in the diverse Hispanic population.


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