Friday, December 15, 2006

Thinking about the video project

In an effort to research (as I obsessively do with everything) I wanted to see if there was any research having to do with breastfeeding videos and initiation or duration for African-American mothers. The only one specifically addressing videos is here.
The results were: "WIC-based peer counselor support and motivational videos can positively affect the duration of breast-feeding among African-American women." The rate of decline in breastfeeding was slower in the WIC clinics that used peer counselors and showed breastfeeding videos. I am not sure what that tells us, but hopefully that means a well made video can help encourage a mother to breastfeed. We already know that lack of "breastfeeding role models" is part of the reason our breastfeeding rates are so low, but can a video make up for that missing role model?

I would so like to read the entire study and even see the video they used. What if it was horrible? Out of date? Not culturally sensitive to not only race but where they live and their community? It has bothered me for a while now that when discussing breastfeeding among Black people the only group considered seems to be WIC participants, low income or adolescent mothers. I understand that it is easier to reach these women that are already in a position of availability to public health researchers but I am tired of the "let's go to the ghetto and help these moms breastfeed their babies" mentality. Not that those groups aren't important, they are, but breastfeeding rates among middle class and probably even upper middle class Black women stink too. I will have to save that for later, but I intend to see if there is any research out there about middle class African-American breastfeeding statistics. I am hoping to do my own research in this area during my masters work, assuming I am able to start that in the spring.

I will update here with how the script writing goes, as I have yet to start. If anyone has any ideas on what to include and how to include it, feel free to share. I need all the help I can get.


Liz said...

Hello Micky! I saw your post to LACTNET and just wanted to stop by! I am not of AA descent but as a fellow mom who is passionate about supporting other moms in breastfeeding, I think what you are doing is wonderful. :) I will stop by again!!

Tanya said...

I think I know the video the study was referring to. I saw it in a lactation educator course in LA a few years ago. If it's the one I'm thinking of it was called 'Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work." It's a little out of date-looking now, but I thought it was good. It profiles several families, including at least one African American and one Asian American family, and just focuses on the support it takes to make breastfeeding work. The segment with the African American family had a really sweet statement (made me a little teary-eyed, but I'm like that) by the father about how important he thought breastfeeding was to his wife and child.

Here's a link to some of the WIC materials from that campaign:

- Tanya (motherwearblog)

Chris said...

Hi, Micky--I too saw your post at LactNet and am so glad to see your blog! I attended a workshop a few months ago about the "Loving Support" campaign and it sounded like an effective campaign particularly in terms of the training given to the peer counselors. Though this workshop no doubt only highlighted the success stories, the presenter described how the peer counselors were taught to show their clients how "fun, easy, and popular" breastfeeding can be, and at some offices, the counselors really took that message to heart. Breastfeeding rates and pride among peer counselors themselves increased. Also, counselors also learned to get grandmas and dads involved in helping moms with breasfeeding--knowing they are the key "supporters" of the loving support that makes breastfeeding work.

That said, I totally agree that work should be done to encourage middle and upper class black moms to breastfeed...for the health of their babies and also for the potential "trickle-down" effect that might have.

Anyway, brilliant blog...I've subscribed and will be linking here from my own blog.

Chris (Reluctant Lactivist)

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