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Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2013 Mar;72(3):81-6.

Breastfeeding patterns in the rural community of Hilo, Hawai'i: an exploration of existing data sets.

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1
University of Hawai'i at Hilo, Hilo, HI 96720, USA. jflood@hawaii.edu

Abstract

Before any breastfeeding promotion effort, an understanding of the existing breastfeeding patterns is essential. Hawai'i County is a rural, ethnically diverse, medically underserved community. The purpose of this study was to describe the breastfeeding patterns of women living in Hilo, Hawai'i. Data from several existing national, state, and local data sets were accessed to identify and describe the breastfeeding patterns of women in this community. Available breastfeeding data about women in Hilo was obtained from the Hawai'i WIC program and includes initiation, duration, exclusivity of breastfeeding, and reasons for not breastfeeding. These data were compared to data from published reports available at the county, state, and national level. The State of Hawai'i and Hilo exceed national targets for breastfeeding initiation; however, rates soon drop following delivery, and mixed feedings of infants is common. The highest percentage of mothers weaned their infants within the first four weeks postpartum. The reasons the majority of the mothers gave for weaning were tied to breastfeeding situations that are amenable to skilled lactation support (eg, milk supply issues and latch or sucking problems). While available data sets offer valuable information on the breastfeeding patterns in this rural community, there are limitations to their usefulness, primarily due to the inconsistent operational definitions of infant feeding variables used in the surveys, and the lack of availability of community level data.

PMID:
23520565
PMCID:
PMC3602946
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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