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Grant Proposal - Essay Example

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Breastfeeding has been proven to be extremely important to the health of both mother and infant. Yet there is a very poor initiation of breast feeding in the population of women and babies in the target area. This area consists of Luce, Mackinac, Alger and Schoolcraft counties…
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Download file to see previous pages Statistical data from WIC tell us that 50% of the new mothers in this area initiate breast feeding but only 14.5% maintain breast feeding (WIC). This implementation plan will put into place a peer to peer breastfeeding program. The aim would be to improve the numbers of maintained breast feeding mothers and infants.
The program is a peer to peer (buddy program) to support mothers attempting to breast feed. As noted, many women initiate the attempt (50%) but those who manage to continue are only (14%). There are many reasons for this, some of which are lack of support, confusion, fear, and anxiety (Stube, 2009). The primary goal of this program would be to increase the numbers of women who are able to maintain breast feeding. Keeping mothers breast feeding at least the first few months could improve the health of both mother and infant (Stube, 2009).
It has been shown through several recent studies that peer coaching improves the continuation of breast feeding. Hoddinott, Chalmers, and Pell (2006) supported the fact that in some areas this has increased up to 35%. This is further supported by a quasi experimental evaluation done by Olson, Haidir, and Vanggel et. al. (2010) in which they found that peer to peer counseling improved initiation by 27 points and increased duration by 3 week. In Bangaladesh Hollander showed that peer counseling increased breast feeding at five months by 70% and Shafer, Vogel, and Vigas (2009) showed in their randomized control trial, an increase of 6% initiation and 9% continuation in rural low income women.
Peer support is provided through a network of volunteers that are trained in the problems related to breast feeding as well as having been successful at breast feeding themselves. This training will be initiated through the WIC and LaLeche League International program to assure that the new mothers are getting the support that is needed. The idea is to choose a supporting peer that has the same culture and socioeconomic background as the mother to be supported. The new mother may be referred in several ways including WIC, Public Health, Food Stamps, physician, social services, self referral and others. Access
Once the mother has been referred she is contacted by a peer and given information, including classes that she can attend that prepare her for the breast feeding process. This includes such procedures as needed to harden nipples, decreasing pain on initiation of breastfeeding. After childbirth, the provide nonmedical assistance as needed to reduce frustration and anxiety in the new mother who is attempting to breast feed. This includes the mother who goes back to work. Often, the transition from breastfeeding to pumping and bottle feeding is extremely difficult (Dennis, Hodnett, & Gallop, 2002). The peer who has been successful through this transition can help quite a lot in improving this transition, keeping the mother breast feeding for a longer period of time. This program would be based in the community clinics in each of these counties but the peers are available through the hospital setting as well as phone. Telephone counseling and support are available 4 times per day.
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