Date of Graduation

5-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Nursing

Advisor/Mentor

Scott, Allison

Committee Member/Reader

Vowell Johnson, Kelly

Abstract

Research has shown that exclusive breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for most infants and offers numerous physical and psychosocial benefits for the newborn and mother. Returning to work or attending university courses and maintaining exclusive breastfeeding is a challenge due to barriers such as time, private space, and public perception of breastfeeding in public. The aim of our study is to provide data, identify barriers and assess education needs to support breastfeeding mothers on a university campus. This study utilizes an adapted version of the Breastfeeding Behavior Questionnaire (BBQ), the Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS), and knowledge questions. Our survey yielded 623 returned responses, 503 were considered usable due to partial responses. Overall, our respondents had a positive view towards breastfeeding as evidenced by high scores on the IIFAS section of the survey. Respondents were aware of the benefits of breastfeeding, but had reservations related to breastfeeding in public and whether or not breastfeeding was considered normal. Respondents also indicated a lack of knowledge regarding breastfeeding choice, duration, and economic benefits. In conclusion, while there is general awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, there is a lack of overall acceptance of breastfeeding normalcy amongst the college population. Furthermore, there is a knowledge deficit regarding the laws which protect mothers right to breastfeed in public on a national and state level. Although there is a positive attitude toward breastfeeding in public, a closer analysis indicates a need for normalization and suggests that stigma, shame and sexualization of breastfeeding still exist in this population. Further research should be conducted due to the small sample size and other generalizability to other campus populations.

Keywords

lactation, campus, Arkansas, attitude

Available for download on Friday, April 28, 2023

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