Breastfeeding and Use of Social Media Among First-Time African American Mothers

Ifeyinwa V. Asiodu, Catherine M. Waters, Dawn E. Dailey, Kathryn A. Lee, Audrey Lyndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe the use of social media during the antepartum and postpartum periods among first-time African American mothers and their support persons. Design: A qualitative critical ethnographic research design within the contexts of family life course development theory and 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 support persons. Methods: Pregnant and postpartum African American women and their support persons were interviewed separately during the antepartum and postpartum periods. Data were analyzed thematically. Results: Participants frequently used social media for education and social support and searched the Internet for perinatal and parenting information. Most participants reported using at least one mobile application during their pregnancies and after giving birth. Social media were typically accessed through smartphones and/or computers using different websites and applications. Although participants gleaned considerable information about infant development from 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 not currently being used to full potential. Our findings suggest that future interventions geared toward African American mothers and their support persons should include social media approaches. The way individuals gather, receive, and interpret information is dynamic. The increasing popularity and use of social media platforms offers the opportunity to create more innovative, targeted mobile health interventions for infant feeding and breastfeeding promotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-278
Number of pages11
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • African American
  • Breastfeeding
  • Ethnography
  • Infant feeding
  • Messaging
  • Mobile health
  • Qualitative research
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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