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Addressing Racial Inequities in Breastfeeding in the Southern United States

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Race is a predictor of breastfeeding rates in the United States, and rates are lowest among African American infants. Few studies have assessed changes in breastfeeding rates by race after implementing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (hereafter referred to as the Ten Steps), and none have assessed the association between implementation and changes in racial disparities in breastfeeding rates. Our goal was to determine if a hospital- and community-based initiative in the Southern United States could increase compliance with the Ten Steps, lead to Baby-Friendly designation, and decrease racial disparities in breastfeeding.