Evaluation of a breastfeeding peer support program for fathers of Hispanic participants in a Texas special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children.

Lovera D, Sanderson M, Bogle ML, Vela Acosta MS
J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 110 (11): 1696-702

PMID: 21034883 · DOI:10.1016/j.jada.2010.08.001

A mother's decision to breastfeed and the duration of breastfeeding depends on different factors; among them are the support of her husband or male partner and other social support. There have been different types of support programs for mothers and few have targeted fathers. In 2002, the Texas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children introduced an innovative approach for encouraging breastfeeding among mothers and their spouses. The pilot Peer Dad Program targeted fathers to promote and support their spouse in breastfeeding. This cohort study evaluated duration of breastfeeding among Hispanic couples who enrolled in the pilot Peer Dad Program (n=101) and those who did not enroll (n=99). Structured interviews were conducted with Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children participants and their male partners. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate the likelihood of continuing breastfeeding past 6 months associated with participation in the Peer Dad Program and significant predictors. Mothers whose partner participated in the pilot Peer Dad Program were no more likely to continue breastfeeding past 6 months (odds ratio 1.44, 95% confidence interval 0.82 to 2.54) compared with mothers who received peer counseling only. The percentage of women in the intervention group (63.4%) who breastfed for 6 months or longer compared with women in the control group (54.6%) was not significant (P=0.20). Although other studies suggest that father's support lengthens breastfeeding duration, our study, which targeted Hispanic fathers, found no association due to its small sample size. Further research with larger studies is needed to establish this association.

Copyright © 2010 American Dietetic Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

MeSH Terms (18)

Adult Breast Feeding Cohort Studies Fathers Female Hispanic Americans Humans Infant Logistic Models Male Peer Group Pilot Projects Program Evaluation Public Assistance Sample Size Social Support Texas Time Factors

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