Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Breastfeeding is the optimal nutrition for an infant, yet only 25.4% of women in the United States decide to breastfeed. A Latina's choice for infant feeding must be made with accurate information as breastfeeding may reduce infant mortality and decrease chronic conditions such as obesity, depression, and diabetes. The study's purpose was to examine if Latinas are influenced by suggestions to not breastfeed by family members and health care providers or by events that may have happened at the hospital. Grounded in the theory of planned behavior, this study reviewed if social influences, marital status, and maternal education link to the beliefs that determine whether the Latina stops breastfeeding. The research questions examined the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System's responses in 18 states in the United States, plus New York City. This cross-sectional quantitative analysis used multiple logistic regression between proposed predictor variables and the outcome variable at the bivariate level for responses from 10,357 Latinas. The results confirmed that 33.4% had difficulty latching and 18.8% found breastfeeding too hard or painful or time-consuming. There were no associations between marital status and maternal education and breastfeeding decisions. There was an association indicating that family affects breastfeeding termination and an association with events at the hospital. The findings suggest that social norms are a standard affecting Latinas' perceived behavioral control and attitudes towards breastfeeding. The findings may be used for social change by infant nutrition advocates, health care providers, and public health organizations that advocate for prolonging breastfeeding.
Ruelas, Dulce, "Examining the Factors that Lead to Latinas Stopping Breastfeeding Across the United States" (2021). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 9806.