Cultural Infant Feeding Practices Among Latina Immigrants: A Program Evaluation

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kaylan Galloway (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Many children in Guatemala are malnourished and food security is a critical problem (Davis , Fischer , Rohloff , & Heimburger , 2014). In some Mayan communities in Guatemala , malnutrition is now viewed as the norm (Chary , Messmer , & Rohloff , 2011). One of the national nursing science priorities for 2017 is global health , which includes caring for populations living in resource poor countries , such as Guatemala (Eckardt et al. , 2017). As a result of widespread political oppression and corruption , many Guatemalans have immigrated to the United States (US) to work and establish a better life. Guatemalans are now the sixth leading Latino sub-group in the US (Motel & Patten , 2012). Cultural infant feeding practices may be altered by relocation to a new environment or may remain unchanged. When Guatemalan mothers and children immigrate to the US , they usually become eligible for the supplemental nutrition program for Women , Infants and Children (WIC). The purpose of this senior honors project was to explore cultural infant feeding practices among Latina mothers following immigration to the US. This project was conducted at a rural health department in eastern North Carolina in collaboration with a public health nurse and a bilingual WIC nutritionist. Data were evaluated on ten Latina women enrolled in the WIC program. Primary cultural feeding practices reported were: use of milk-based formula into the child's second year of life , a combination of breast milk and formula for children one year and younger , and the use of home remedies for infants. Implications for practice may include early assessment of cultural infant feeding practices and the development of short health messages that clearly delineate the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and the introduction of solid foods at 6 months. Further research is needed on the use of milk-based formulas among Latino children.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Infant Feeding, Immigrants, Latina

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