Clinical Interventions to Promote Breastfeeding by Latinas: A Meta-analysis

Pediatrics. 2016 Jan;137(1):e20152423. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-2423. Epub 2015 Dec 14.


Context: Breastfeeding duration and exclusivity among Latinas fall below recommended levels, indicating a need for targeted interventions. The effectiveness of clinical breastfeeding interventions for Latinas remains unclear.

Objective: To systematically review the documented effectiveness of clinical breastfeeding interventions on any and exclusive breastfeeding among Latinas.

Data sources: English-language publications in Medline, CINAHL, and Embase were searched through May 28, 2015.

Study selection: Fourteen prospective, controlled studies describing 17 interventions met inclusion criteria.

Data extraction: Extracted study characteristics include study design, population characteristics, intervention components, timing and intensity of delivery, provider type, control procedures, and outcome measures.

Results: Random-effects meta-analyses estimated risk differences (RDs) between breastfeeding mothers in intervention and control arms of each study and 95% prediction intervals (PIs) within which 95% of intervals cover the true value estimated by a future study. Interventions increased any breastfeeding at 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 months (RD 0.04 [95% PI -0.15 to 0.23] and 0.08 [-0.08 to 0.25], respectively) and exclusive breastfeeding at 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 months (0.04 [-0.09 to 0.18] and 0.01 [-0.01 to 0.02]). Funnel plot asymmetry suggested publication bias for initiation and 1- to 3-month any breastfeeding. Estimates were slightly larger among interventions with prenatal and postpartum components, 3 to 6 patient contacts, and delivery by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant or lay provider.

Limitations: The published evidence for Latinas is limited, and studies have varying methodologic rigor.

Conclusions: Breastfeeding interventions targeting Latinas increased any and exclusive breastfeeding compared with usual care.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding* / ethnology
  • Breast Feeding* / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Promotion
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans