Open Access Capstone
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Breastfeeding offers numerous benefits for mother and baby and should be considered a priority for the health of communities as opposed to a parenting choice (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2012). Occupational therapists have a place in breastfeeding support, public health promotion, and guiding performance patterns (Pitonyak, 2014).
This study sought to identify what occupational therapists within the medical and community systems could offer stakeholders involved in breastfeeding support and neonatal care. Action research methods were utilized to allow stakeholders in a rural community in Kentucky to decide what objectives could benefit their area. A series of three focus groups were held over the course of three months. Stakeholders determined that the major objective of the research should be to increase knowledge of current breastfeeding resources. A “Lunch and Learn” class was offered to healthcare professionals, as well as a breastfeeding resource pamphlet developed. This brochure was given to healthcare providers so that they could provide these resources to mothers who were experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding. The team determined that the objective was met and projects were successful. Study limitations included a short research duration that could not determine the impact upon breastfeeding rates and inclement weather that may have minimized potential stakeholder participation.
Doris Pierce, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Christine Myers, PhD, OTR/L
2015 Mallory D. Ratliff
Ratliff, Mallory D., "Breastfeeding Initiatives in Rural Kentucky: An Action Research Approach to Improving Public Health" (2015). Occupational Therapy Doctorate Capstone Projects. 1.
IRB Approval Number (if applicable)