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‘Why do we need a policy?’ Administrators’ perceptions on breast-feeding-friendly childcare

  • Stephanie L Marhefka (a1), Vinita Sharma (a1), Ellen J Schafer (a1) (a2), DeAnne Turner (a1), Oluyemisi Falope (a1), Adetola Louis-Jacques (a3), Mary M Wachira (a4), Taylor Livingston (a1) and Regina Maria Roig-Romero (a1)...

Abstract

Objective

Mothers’ return to work and childcare providers’ support for feeding expressed human milk are associated with breast-feeding duration rates in the USA, where most infants are regularly under non-parental care. The objective of the present study was to explore Florida-based childcare centre administrators’ awareness and perceptions of the Florida Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare Initiative.

Design

Semi-structured interviews were based on the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research and analysed using applied thematic analysis.

Setting

Childcare centre administrators in Tampa Bay, FL, USA, interviewed in 2015.

Participants

Twenty-eight childcare centre administrators: female (100 %) and Non-Hispanic White (61 %) with mean age of 50 years and 13 years of experience.

Results

Most administrators perceived potential implementation of the Florida Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare Initiative as simple and beneficial. Tension for change and a related construct (perceived consumer need for the initiative) were low, seemingly due to formula-feeding being normative. Perceived financial costs and relative priority varied. Some centres had facilitating structural characteristics, but none had formal breast-feeding policies.

Conclusions

A cultural shift, facilitated by state and national breast-feeding-friendly childcare policies and regulations, may be important for increasing tension for change and thereby increasing access to breast-feeding-friendly childcare. Similar to efforts surrounding the rapid growth of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, national comprehensive evidence-based policies, regulations, metrics and technical assistance are needed to strengthen state-level breast-feeding-friendly childcare initiatives.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email smarhefk@health.usf.edu

References

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