A Promotora Model: An Intervention to Increase Breastfeeding Rates in Latinas

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Marcia L. Harris-Luna, MSN, FNP-C, CPNP, IBCLC, CCD
graduate school of nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify two culturally specific barriers to breastfeeding in Latina women.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to explain the role that promotoras have had in health promotion with the Latino community.

Purpose:  To report the findings and gaps in knowledge in a literature review addressing culturally sensitive interventions to increase breastfeeding promotion in Latina women and to discuss a viable intervention to increase breastfeeding rates in the Latino population using a Promotora Model.

 Background:  The American Academia of Pediatrics continues to recommend that breastfeeding be the expected and sole source of nutrition for an infant’s first six months of life (Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk, 2012).  The benefits of breastfeeding have been clearly described by this breastfeeding policy—improved maternal and infant outcomes.

Problem: Although ever breastfeeding rates are similar between White and Latina  women, there are subgroups of Latina women that stop breastfeeding their infants prematurely—those who are acculturated and of lower socioeconomic status  (Sandy, Anisfeld, & Ramirez, 2009). 

Literature Review:

There were studies found that addressed cultural issues with Latina women and breastfeeding however, few if any have attempted culturally sensitive interventions to increase breastfeeding rates in this population.

A Promotora Model:

The review of the literature revealed that the use of promotoras (Latina women trained in specific health promotion topics) has been effective in health promotion interventions because they are well trusted in their communites. 

Implications: In order to meet the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for an infant to be nourished with only breastmilk for the first six month of life, as well as to meet the Healthy People 2020 objectives for increasing breastfeeding initiation rates, breastfeeding duration rates and exclusive breastfeeding, these Latina cultural barriers need to be addressed and the use of a Promotora model may assist to break the barriers.