Presentation Title (IN ALL CAPS)

REFUGEE WOMEN'S BREASTFEEDING PRACTICES AND EXPERIENCES FOLLOWING RESETTLEMENT IN TARRANT COUNTY

Departmental Affiliation and City, State, Zip for All Authors

Katherine Durbin, OMS-II, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107; Dr. Amy Raines-Milenkov, DrPH, UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107; Eva Baker MPH, UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107; Victoria Kwentua, UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107; Emelda Thein, UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107; Halimo Mudey, UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107; Radhika Subedi, UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107; Laurette Rudasingwa, UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107;

Classification

TCOM DO Student (For Competition)

Research Presentation Category

Community Health and Prevention

Brief Narrative or Summary

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life ensures infants obtain adequate nutrients needed to support healthy growth. Robust literature exists on factors influencing breastfeeding among sub-populations of women, however, there is little known about breastfeeding practices of refugee women resettled in the United States. Limited study suggests that breastfeeding practices change following resettlement. This qualitative study aims to explore refugee women’s breastfeeding experiences and practices to inform culturally appropriate education, support and maternity care for women resettled in Tarrant County.

Scientific Abstract

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life ensures infants obtain adequate nutrients needed to support healthy growth. Robust literature exists on factors influencing breastfeeding among sub-populations of women, however, there is little known about breastfeeding practices of refugee women resettled in the United States. Limited study suggests that breastfeeding practices change following resettlement. This qualitative study aims to explore refugee women’s breastfeeding experiences and practices to inform culturally appropriate education, support and maternity care for women resettled in Tarrant County. Refugee women ages 18 to 50, who had given birth to at least one live infant were recruited into the study. Participants completed a demographic survey and participated in a focus group discussion about their breastfeeding practices and experiences. The survey addressed participant age, experience breastfeeding, etc. Descriptive statistics were complied to assess the demographics of the study population. Bilingual research personnel conducted focus groups using a semi-structured interview guide. Group discussions were recorded, translated and transcribed. Systematic procedures of qualitative data analysis included intensive reading and discussion of full transcripts, and coding and interpreting information. Refugee women representing different ethnic groups participated in the demographic surveys and focus groups. Results of the focus groups suggest multiple influences on breastfeeding practices of refugee women following resettlement in Tarrant County. A culturally multi-level approach to providing education and support services is necessary to protect their breastfeeding practices. These findings have implications for health providers, resettlement agencies and public health professionals involved in serving this population.

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REFUGEE WOMEN'S BREASTFEEDING PRACTICES AND EXPERIENCES FOLLOWING RESETTLEMENT IN TARRANT COUNTY

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life ensures infants obtain adequate nutrients needed to support healthy growth. Robust literature exists on factors influencing breastfeeding among sub-populations of women, however, there is little known about breastfeeding practices of refugee women resettled in the United States. Limited study suggests that breastfeeding practices change following resettlement. This qualitative study aims to explore refugee women’s breastfeeding experiences and practices to inform culturally appropriate education, support and maternity care for women resettled in Tarrant County. Refugee women ages 18 to 50, who had given birth to at least one live infant were recruited into the study. Participants completed a demographic survey and participated in a focus group discussion about their breastfeeding practices and experiences. The survey addressed participant age, experience breastfeeding, etc. Descriptive statistics were complied to assess the demographics of the study population. Bilingual research personnel conducted focus groups using a semi-structured interview guide. Group discussions were recorded, translated and transcribed. Systematic procedures of qualitative data analysis included intensive reading and discussion of full transcripts, and coding and interpreting information. Refugee women representing different ethnic groups participated in the demographic surveys and focus groups. Results of the focus groups suggest multiple influences on breastfeeding practices of refugee women following resettlement in Tarrant County. A culturally multi-level approach to providing education and support services is necessary to protect their breastfeeding practices. These findings have implications for health providers, resettlement agencies and public health professionals involved in serving this population.