Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Maternal Child Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Martha Moon


The Healthy People 2010 Objectives for the population of the United States include the objective for women to sustain breastfeeding at a higher rate than they are currently.The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends that all infants be fed human milk for the first year of life instead of the previously recommended first six months of life. Breastfeeding initiation rates are rising, but breastfeeding duration rates continue to fall. It was hypothesized that the support system of the women may play a role in the duration of breastfeeding. The purpose of this research study was to investigate the support system and breastfeeding rates of mothers during the first six weeks after delivery and to determine if income level had an effect on these systems and rates. Mothers were interviewed during their hospitalization for childbirth regarding their perception of their support system currently in place. A questionnaire was administered regarding support from friends, family members, co-workers, and health care professionals and the responses were quantified. Mothers were contacted weekly to determine if breastfeeding was being sustained and who was the most supportive person to them. At the end of six weeks or when breastfeeding was discontinued, the mothers were interviewed a second time to determine if the support system had changed. The results of this study showed that income level affected the duration of breastfeeding and the mother's perception of her support system. Additionally, the results showed that the evaluation of the support system changed only slightly over time. The results showed preliminary ability of the study tool to predict breastfeeding at six weeks by income.This document was created using Microsoft Word 2003. The statistical package used for data analysis was JMP version 6.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008