Breastfeeding and Use of Social Media Among First-Time African American Mothers
PublisherWiley Periodicals Inc.
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Objective: To describe the use of social media during the antepartum and postpartum periods among first-time AfricanAmerican mothers and their support persons.Design: A qualitative critical ethnographic research design within the contexts of family life course development theoryand Black feminist theory.Setting: Participants were recruited from community-based, public health, and home visiting programs.Participants: A purposive sample was recruited, consisting of 14 pregnant African American women and eight supportpersons.Methods: Pregnant and postpartum African American women and their support persons were interviewed separatelyduring the antepartum and postpartum periods. Data were analyzed thematically.Results: Participants frequently used social media for education and social support and searched the Internet forperinatal and parenting information. Most participants reported using at least one mobile application during theirpregnancies and after giving birth. Social media were typically accessed through smartphones and/or computers usingdifferent websites and applications. Although participants gleaned considerable information about infant developmentfrom these applications, they had difficulty finding and recalling information about infant feeding.Conclusion: Social media are an important vehicle to disseminate infant feeding information; however, they are notcurrently being used to full potential. Our findings suggest that future interventions geared toward African Americanmothers and their support persons should include social media approaches. The way individuals gather, receive, andinterpret information is dynamic. The increasing popularity and use of social media platforms offers the opportunity tocreate more innovative, targeted mobile health interventions for infant feeding and breastfeeding promotion.