The Latino Best Start Program
Diana N. Derige, National Director of Health Initiatives, Urban Strategies
Latinas are a diverse group of women with ancestry from 28 countries. Almost a quarter of all births in the US are to Latinas. Eighty percent of Latinas in the United States initiate breastfeeding indicating an intent to breastfeed. Unfortunately, only 16% can meet the national guidelines of six months exclusive breastfeeding (recommended by APA and WHO) suggesting that systematic barriers exist and contribute to breastfeeding rates that fall below the national average and short of the Healthy People 2020 goals.
The Latino Best Start (LBS) program examined beliefs and practices about breastfeeding among Latinos using qualitative and quantitative data. LBS partnered with eight faith based community organizations (CFBOs) around the country to:
- Conduct 27 focus groups conducted at 9 sites around the country with community members, business owners, and health care providers;
- Survey of Latinos about breastfeeding beliefs and practices; and
- Develop and implement of a first-of-its-kind leadership-based curriculum to promote breastfeeding exclusivity among Latinas
The presentation will describe the process, lessons learned, results from the focus groups and survey, and examine the curriculum development and evaluation of the LBS curriculum. It will also provide suggestions about working with community partners and with Latino communities.