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Mother's Concerns for Personal Safety/Vulnerability While Breastfeeding: An Unexplored Phenomenon

by Casey Rosen -Carole, MD,MPH
  • Duration: 540 Mins
  • Credits: 0.25 CERP, 0.25 L-CERP
  • Learning Format: Webinar
  • Handout: No
  • Origin: ABM Conference 2016

Background: Preliminary research in upstate NY shows new mothers are worried about safety while breastfeeding (BF). We sought to determine the frequency of BF safety/privacy concerns and explore their association with BF outcomes. Mothers were surveyed immediately and 1-month postpartum about breastfeeding goals and privacy/safety concerns.

Results: 279 women enrolled. Almost all women felt safe breastfeeding at home, though 25% reported privacy concerns and 5% felt ‘vulnerable or unsafe’ while BF. Non-BF mothers expressed more safety concerns outside home/at work. Only 54% who reported feeling vulnerable/unsafe with BF initiated breastfeeding, compared with 86% not reporting this concern (p=0.008). Fewer women initiating BF reported vulnerability/safety or privacy concerns.

Conclusion: Many BF women reported safety/privacy concerns, especially outside the home and at work, which may influence BF initiation. Further study may lead to methods to address these issues potentially increasing BF rates.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Discuss the safety concerns around breastfeeding expressed by an inner-city population
Objective 2: Discuss the relative impacts of these concerns on breastfeeding initiation
Objective 3: Understand the potential variability of these concerns by sociodemographic variables