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What Role Do Fathers’ Cultural Experiences Play in the Decision to Support Breastfeeding?

by Dr. Muswamba Mwamba, DrPH, MPH, IBCLC
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 R-CERP, 1 Nursing Contact Hours, 0.1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU
  • Handout: Yes

Male breastfeeding support is evidenced to influence breastfeeding behaviors. Fathers play a vital role in determining women's choice to breastfeed. Many studies regarding fathers' breastfeeding influence included participants from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Only a few studies examined African American men's breastfeeding attitudes. Within the U.S. disparity context, Black African immigrant breastfeeding experiences have not been measured.

The social and cultural breastfeeding experiences of Congolese Immigrants compared to those of African Americans were explored, analyzed, and contrasted. In the immigrant study, the breastfeeding cultural practice's visibility enables the breastfeeding perceptions of Congolese fathers. They identify their Congolese origin as a warrant for breastfeeding decisions and practice. Breastfeeding is a natural process that does not require prior deliberations between expectant couples. Breastmilk is valued for its God-given virtues rather than its medical benefits.

In the cultural context of African American, family, and friends enable breastfeeding support perceptions. Personal experiences and knowledge of breastfeeding benefits are predictors of breastfeeding decisions. However, there is not a cultural, existential framework supporting breastfeeding. This study's findings and recommendations guided the development of a dynamic African American men breastfeeding support toolkit designed to utilize existing public health structures.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Discuss how male breastfeeding support intervention may reduce some of the adverse effects of psychosocial factors in African American communities.

Objective 2: Describe how African American and Black immigrant men experience breastfeeding in the U.S. within the context of the African American minority group.

Objective 3: Discuss Black fathers’ cultural expectations and relationship toward breastfeeding behaviors, identifying what is distinct and common about Black immigrants and African American.

Presentations: 29  |  Hours / CE Credits: 29.5  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks