The Hispanice Culture and Breastfeeding

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Running head: Breastfeeding and the Hispanic Culture
Breastfeeding and the Hispanic Culture
NURB 2160 S01: Cultural and Ethical Influences on Health Care

Breastfeeding and the Hispanic Culture
Breastfeeding is widely regarded as the ideal nutritional system due largely to the diverse advantages for both mother and child (Gibson-Davis & Brooks-Gunn, 2006). Based on information found in the Health Promotion Model proposed by Pender et al., breastfeeding is not regarded as a health promoting behavior (Faraz, 2010). A health promoting behavior can be defined as a continuous, modifiable, long term behavior that helps to prevent illness and maintain wellness (Faraz, 2010). More importantly, to maintain optimal nutrition, The American Academy of Pediatrics Work Group proposes exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life (Schlickau & Wilson, 2005). Faraz (2010) points out that “in the United States, breastfeeding rates have been reported as increasing in recent years; however, it is unclear from these statistics whether women are exclusively breastfeeding and for how long. In 2006, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported breastfeeding rates as high as 76% in White women and 81% in Hispanic women in the United States.” Furthermore, the National Immunization survey has reported exclusive breastfeeding rates of Hispanic women in the United States as 30.9% at 3 months of life and 11.3% by 6 months of life (Faraz, 2010). Based on the current research, it is implied that breastfeeding rates among Hispanic women in the United States are affected by the degree of acculturation and socioeconomic status (Faraz, 2010; Gibson-Davis & Brooks-Gunn, 2006). Schlickau & Wilson (2005) define acculturation as “the extent to which people from one culture adapt to accommodate their behavior and thoughts to their perceptions of the norms of a second culture” (Rassin et al. 1994, p.740). The distinctive components affecting the...
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