Johnson, Frances

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Breastfeeding has come to the forefront in modern research as a necessary and important phenomenon to understand and address due to the vast amount of evidence revealing its health benefits for both Mom and baby. Disparities exist related to socioeconomic status, education level, poverty, young age, obesity, alcohol use, smoking, and living in rural areas. This project aims to discover the areas that need the most awareness and change specific to the state of Tennessee to increase the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding for six months (EBF6) creating healthier future generations and society. This project was a non-experimental, retrospective, correlational design, quantitative survey. The survey "TN Exclusive Breastfeeding Barriers Survey" consisted of nineteen questions. Though the survey was shared across the state of TN to other health departments and on social media, there was only one participant whose zip code was more than 20 miles outside of the greater Chattanooga area. The mean age of participants was 34 years-old with a range of 21-54 years of age, 78.1% white and 21.9% black/AA. Sixty-eight percent of the mom’s surveyed were able to EBF6, exceeding HP2020 goal of 25.5%. The top ten issues that caused early cessation were inadequate breastmilk supply, unable to pump enough milk, difficulty latching, returning to work, nipple pain/damage, lack of time/place to pump at work, baby not gaining enough weight, someone else needed to feed the baby, didn't want to breastfeed in public, and wanted my body back to myself. More research needs to be done for each individual variable as to the extent of the problems and the best ways to address them. However, knowing what the biggest issues are in Chattanooga area helps providers know how to focus their education and resources to help mom/baby dyads be successful in EBF6.