African-American women in Houston, Texas are disproportionately burdened with high rates of premature births, 1.5 times higher than white women. Prematurity remains a leading cause of high infant mortality rates. African-American women have the highest infant mortality rates compared to White and Hispanic women. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants and has been shown to be protective against adverse outcomes, including necrotizing enterocolitis, lower respiratory infections, and chronic diseases such as asthma, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Exclusive breastfeeding has also been shown to be protective against infant mortality due to SIDS. However, significant race/ethnic disparities exist in the rate of women who have ever breastfed their infants. Black mothers in Texas report lower rates of ever breastfeeding than White mothers. The Honey Child Program is a faith-based initiative to increase breastfeeding aimed at tackling the disparity in poor birth outcomes during the first year of life for African-American babies. The Honey Child Program utilizes group prenatal education, one-on-one mentoring with lactation consultants and faith-based community support to target equity in access and outcomes in breastfeeding. Preliminary results showed an increase in African-American mothers breastfeeding from 75% to 100% of participants who ever breastfed their infants. No infants developed a major illness or died during the time period of the study. The Honey Child Program developed a care delivery model to increase breastfeeding in this vulnerable population and help decrease infant mortality.
Section on Breastfeeding| August 01 2019
Honey Child New Beginnings: A Faith-Based Initiative Increasing Breastfeeding in African American Women
Pediatrics (2019) 144 (2_MeetingAbstract): 261.
Charleta Guillory; Honey Child New Beginnings: A Faith-Based Initiative Increasing Breastfeeding in African American Women. Pediatrics August 2019; 144 (2_MeetingAbstract): 261. 10.1542/peds.144.2MA3.261
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