Date of Conferral
Breastfeeding is the optimal feeding method for infants up to the age of 2. Breast milk is suited to fulfill the nutritional needs of infants while providing immunological and neurological benefits. Breastfeeding rates of initiation and duration are low in the United States, especially in the state of Georgia. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate how breastfeeding initiation and duration, self-efficacy, perceptions, and community breastfeeding resources differ based on geographical location. The social ecological model was used as the theoretical framework for this study. An online and in-person survey that combined the Iowa Feeding Attitude Scale, Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Questionnaire and The Breastfeeding in Public Survey was administered to 150 English speaking mothers aged 18 and older with a child 1 year or younger. The research questions were addressed using various statistical analyses (crosstabs, Mann Whitney U-test, and t test). The study results showed no differences in the odds of breastfeeding initiation and duration among mothers in urban and rural Georgia. No differences in breastfeeding perception or the use of breastfeeding community resources were observed. The results of this study contribute to social change by identifying the need to develop breastfeeding interventions that will address breastfeeding perceptions, community resources, and breastfeeding self-efficacy in urban and rural areas.