Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Nursing

Advisor

Scott, Allison

Reader

Smith-Blair, Nan

Second Reader

Vowell Johnson, Kelly

Third Reader

Shreve, Marilou

Abstract

Abstract

Background: The Marshallese are one of the fastest growing migrant populations in the U.S. They have considerable health disparities despite their increasing access to health care. The Marshallese women in this population prefer to breastfeed, but have encountered many cultural barriers that have deterred them from exclusively breastfeeding for a significant amount of time. Breastfeeding is linked to many protective benefits for children’s health, such as decreasing the likelihood of obesity, even into the adult years.

Objective: The purpose was to evaluate the impact on breastfeeding rates through implementation of a culturally significant educational intervention for the Marshallese women at a study hospital pursuing Baby-Friendly status.

Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, the exclusive breastfeeding rates of the Marshallese women in Northwest Arkansas at the study hospital were collected prior to and after the interventions were implemented. The data gathered was compared to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions. The intervention consisted of two parts: 1) a culturally significant educational video, and 2) a written pamphlet that the mothers were able to take home to reinforce the teaching.

Results: Although the results were not statistically significant due to sample size, exposure to the intervention positively influenced breastfeeding practices during the hospital stay.

Conclusion: It is hoped that this project will support the hospital in pursuit of Baby-Friendly status while also improving the exclusive breastfeeding rates and thus overall health of the Marshallese population in Northwest Arkansas.