Latino Best Start: Building Health Equity to Promote Breastfeeding in the Latino Community
Diana Derige, DrPHDirector of Health Initiatives, Urban Strategies
There is a dearth of information and programming to support Latino breastfeeding. This lack of information, including limited and aggregated data, contributes to continued inequity in health as well as perpetuates the colonized history of Latino communities by limiting their ability to tell their story (through data), their autonomy (ability to effect policy), and initiate appropriate programming for their communities. Health programming is often delivered on an individual basis and does not recognize the family-centered approach which has been proven to be key for health promotion in the Latino community. LBS worked in partnership with community to collect the largest community-based survey (N=745) of Latinos on breastfeeding practices and conducted 27 focus groups. This information was used to co-create (community/researcher) curriculum to support breastfeeding. The curriculum aligns with the community-centered nature of Latinos and is built on the principles of self-advocacy and community empowerment. Further the data and subsequent analysis is being used to inform the field on the needs of Latinas in order to build health equity.