An Evaluation of the CDC’s Community-Based Breastfeeding Supplemental Cooperative Agreement Reach, Strategies, Barriers, Facilitators, and Lessons Learned
Background: Community-based organizations (CBOs) have an important role to play in promoting breastfeeding continuation among mothers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program’s Cooperative Agreement Breastfeeding Supplement funded 6 state health departments to support CBOs to implement community-based breastfeeding support activities.
Objectives: Study objectives were to (1) describe the reach of the Cooperative Agreement, (2) describe breastfeeding support strategies implemented by state health departments and CBOs, and (3) understand the barriers and facilitators to implementing community-based breastfeeding support strategies.
Methods: Qualitative and quantitative data were abstracted from state health departments’ final evaluation reports. Qualitative data were analyzed for common themes using deductive and inductive approaches.
Results: Within the 6 states funded by the Cooperative Agreement, 66 primary CBOs implemented breastfeeding support strategies and reported 59 256 contacts with mothers. Support strategies included incorporating lactation services into community-based programs, training staff, providing walk-in locations for lactation support, connecting breastfeeding mothers to resources, and providing services that reflect community-specific culture. Community partnerships, network building, stakeholders’ commitment, and programmatic and policy environments were key facilitators of program success.
Conclusion: Key lessons learned include the importance of time in creating lasting organizational change, use of data for program improvement, choosing the right partners, taking a collective approach, and leveraging resources.
Published online before print August 10, 2015, doi: 10.1177/0890334415597904 J Hum Lact November 2015 vol. 31 no. 4 614-622