SUNY Albany Breastfeeding Grand Rounds 2017

The Impact of Social and Cultural Values on Breastfeeding Practice and Strategies to Address Disparities


  1. August 3rd webinar featuring: Naomi Bar-Yam, PhD, ACSW, Executive Director, Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast & President, Human Milk Banking Association of North America; Kimberly Seals Allers, MS, Director, First Food Friendly Community Initiative & Author, The Mocha Manual and The Big Let Down; and, Ruth Lawrence, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
  2. The social context in which a mother gives birth and cares for her child greatly affects whether she initiates and continues breastfeeding. Scholarly and popular literature describes breastfeeding as both a biological and social practice. As such, breastfeeding advocates and health professionals have critically examined and compared the ways in which biosocial factors shape breastfeeding practices among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups in the United States. This Breastfeeding Grand Rounds demonstrated how U.S. social values influence breastfeeding practices among mothers from different racial-ethnic and socioeconomic groups in the U.S. Presenters described strategies that have worked to change cultural norms and societal values in ways that positively affect breastfeeding rates among different U.S. groups and enhance its broader social acceptance.