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12.07.2018 | Review Paper | Ausgabe 9/2018

Maternal and Child Health Journal 9/2018

Acculturation and Breastfeeding Among Hispanic American Women: A Systematic Review

Maternal and Child Health Journal > Ausgabe 9/2018
Galya Bigman, Anna V. Wilkinson, Adriana Pérez, Nuria Homedes


Introduction Hispanic immigrants are more likely to breastfeed than are Hispanics born in the US, in part due to their acculturation. This paper aims to systematically review the existing literature on the association between acculturation and Hispanics’ breastfeeding behaviors. Methods The systematic search used major databases such as Medline and PubMed, and it followed the PRISMA checklist. The scientific quality of the studies was rated using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. Results We identified 1943 potential citations, of which 18 studies met the eligibility criteria. Overall, while 13 studies suggested that high-acculturated Hispanics were less likely to breastfeed compared with low-acculturated, five studies did not find significant evidence of such an association. Moreover, 12 studies used a static measure or a linear scale, which is not optimal; only three studies utilized bi/multidimensional scales to assess acculturation. Intention to breastfeed was examined in six studies, but the results were inconsistent. Breastfeeding initiation was examined in 11 studies, and two out of eight studies that examined breastfeeding duration, specifically analyzed exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months. Discussion Our results agree with the general hypothesis that higher acculturation is inversely related to breastfeeding rates, independently of income. Researchers used different methodologies to study acculturation and breastfeeding practices, limiting our ability to reach more detailed conclusions. Owing to the lack of a standard methodology for measuring acculturation, future studies should utilize bi/multidimensional scales when studying breastfeeding, in particular, in relation to breastfeeding intention and exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months; preferably according to Hispanic subgroups.

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