Geodemographies of Breastfeeding Support

Tony H. Grubesic, Kelly M. Durbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Mother-to-mother breastfeeding support organizations provide important information and guidance for helping mothers initiate and maintain breastfeeding, postpartum. However, the availability of this support is limited by a constellation of barriers, including race, culture, socioeconomic status, and geography. Research aims: To identify the geodemographic composition of communities where breastfeeding support was available from the mother-to-mother support organizations Breastfeeding USA and La Leche League, identify underlying issues of equity, and highlight locations where more support resources may be needed. Methods: The locations of mother-to-mother support meetings were collected by ZIP code (N = 180) and were combined with a geodemographic database and exploratory spatial data analysis to explore the compositional characteristics of communities served (N = 1,173). Results: Significant gaps in the geographic distribution of breastfeeding support existed. While many metropolitan areas benefited from numerous mother-to-mother support groups and peer counselors, the geographic footprint of this support favored communities that were white, affluent, and suburban. Conclusion: Spatial analytics combined with geodemographic analysis provide a unique perspective into the diverse landscape of mother-to-mother breastfeeding support groups at a local level. Our results highlighted inequities in the distribution of support provided and prescriptive guidance regarding where more resources may be needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-313
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • access to care
  • breastfeeding
  • breastfeeding support
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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