New research indicates that African American women are less likely to initiate and continue breastfeeding, primarily due to a lack of desire and lack of self-efficacy.
They reported 'lacking a desire to breastfeed' (55 percent versus 27 percent) and were less likely to report other obstacles that are easier to overcome, such as misinformation about breastfeeding and whether a contraindication truly exists.
The research was presented Monday, Oct. 4, at the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco.
"Better training of health care professionals, so they can convey accurate information about breastfeeding, will likely result in improved rates of breastfeeding, but the effects may be seen more in non-blacks than blacks," said Amudha Palaniappan .
"Further research is needed to explore what contributes to lack of desire among blacks so we can develop new strategies to overcome the disparities in breastfeeding and related health outcomes."