21 Jan Program Addresses Racial Inequities in Breastfeeding in Southern US
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anne Merewood PhD MPH
Director, Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences
Boston University School of Public Health
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices) worked with hospitals and communities across the southern US to implement the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and decrease racial inequities in breastfeeding rates.
We found that indeed this program significantly reduced the gap between Black and White breastfeeding initiation rates in the 31 hospitals studied, by almost 10%.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Hospitals and communities can work together in areas where racial disparities are extreme and breastfeeding rates are low, to improve hospital practices around the time of birth. These changes will have an impact on racial gaps in breastfeeding, and will bring more humane and evidence-based care to thousands of women, now and in the future, as the changes are solidified. Improved practices level the playing field for underprivileged groups.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research should assess the implementation model to see if it can be applied in other settings. Also, future research needs to examine how well these changes can be sustained.
Anne Merewood, Kimarie Bugg, Laura Burnham, Kirsten Krane, Nathan Nickel, Sarah Broom, Roger Edwards, Lori Feldman-Winter
Pediatrics Jan 2019, e20181897; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-1897
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