Babies are sick and dying in Memphis. We have one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the country, and mothers who do breastfeed do not know how to access lactation support. The primary goal of this project is to increase access to a needed health service, namely lactation support, and to serve a population that is well known to be under served with demonstrated health disparities.
We will begin by examining the barriers to breastfeeding with ten different focus groups in our under served population. Focus groups will occur in the faith-based, community, public, and private settings. Subsequently, we will create a community-wide referral process beginning with asset mapping of breastfeeding resources: Women Infants and Children Program, La Leche League International, Shelby County Breastfeeding Coalition, private practice, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. Home visitation programs will receive a breastfeeding curriculum to use on their visits. Each mother will receive a contact for breastfeeding education prenatally, and a contact for help after delivery. Medical Homes will be identified for all babies. We will begin training peer counselors in the community setting for the under served. The network of lactation assistance will be made available to providers as well as the public.