Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Koren, Mary E.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Nursing and Health Studies


The purpose of this paper is to determine factors related to socioeconomic status that affect a mother’s ability to breastfeed and the role that nurses play in breastfeeding promotion within a community setting. Research is conducted through a review of the literature and interviews with licensed lactation consultants and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) employees in order to determine various nursing interventions that are most effective in promoting breastfeeding of the specified population. Contributing factors that enhance breastfeeding rates will be included in the review of literature and discussion of findings. Current statistics suggest that there is a disparity in breastfeeding rates between the general population and those women enrolled in supplemental feeding programs such as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Per WIC, in 2015 only 30.9% of WIC infants were exclusively breastfed nationally and only 12.9% of those infants were exclusively breastfed until 6 months of age. This paper will examine the various influences that affect breastfeeding rates and how nurses can be utilized in community settings to support mothers of low socioeconomic status.


18 pages




Northern Illinois University

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