Date of Defense:
March 11, 2016
This technical report describes the results of a needs assessment survey on breastfeeding promotion and support on a remote, isolated Native American reservation in Northeast Arizona and outline guidelines for impact and sustainability. Achieving designation as a Baby Friendly Hospital, the Hopi Health Care Center demonstrated that policies, procedures and practices were in place to provide the important element of prenatal education and after delivery care and support needed to increase breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity within the first few days of life. Yet, community resources and access to support was disjointed and inconsistent. By providing an environment that would bring together community and healthcare personnel with a shared vested goal in improving the health and wellbeing of infants, children and mothers, we would strengthen established programs, ensure consistent messaging and bridge gaps in care. In order to determine where gaps in care in care and access to resources were most prevalent, a needs assessment survey was conducted with maternal and infant hospital staff and community partners. Results of the survey indicated that while hospital practices were consistent and in line with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, both prenatal and postpartum periods of care meant mothers received inconsistent breastfeeding education. Most notably, resources after discharge were sparse and coordination lacking. The Hopi Breastfeeding Coalition was formed in order to create a multisector, community led group that could address the unique needs of the community through innovation, support and collaboration. This report details steps to successful establishment and sustainment of a coalition. Key recommendations include support for breastfeeding in the workplace, increase accountability and communication amongst health care providers and work to provide the awareness and support mothers in the community need.