Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Carolyn Williams

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Nathania Bush

Committee Member

Dr. Ana Maria Linares


Purpose: To assess community level support for breastfeeding in the Gateway District of eastern Kentucky.

Methods: A descriptive study was conducted to identify institutional support of breastfeeding women. Data collected during interviews included community level support based on the framework of the Ten Step program from the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) (WHO & UNICEF, 2009) and the Mother-Friendly Worksite Initiative (Texas Department of State Health Services, 2012). Respondents answered questions to determine breastfeeding support from the healthcare, education and business communities.

Results: Of the ten organizations whose representatives were interviewed, 100% perceived health benefits for mothers and infants from breastfeeding. Mean outcomes for perception of breastfeeding support by community facilities were 8.3 on a 10-point scale for healthcare, 6.6 for businesses, and 6.5 for educational settings. One hundred percent (100%) of the healthcare facilities were aware of the “Ten-Step Hospital” initiative. Sixty percent (60%) of the business facilities and none (0%) of the educational facilities were aware of the “Mother-Friendly Worksite” initiative.

Conclusion: Evidence of breastfeeding support was identified at all three types of facilities. Healthcare settings provided education and opportunities for new mothers to begin breastfeeding immediately after birth. Business and educational settings provided flexibility and private places for expression of breast milk but did not include a restroom. Policies that are more formal are needed at all facilities to make the public, employees, and others who frequent the settings studied aware of breastfeeding support and guidelines in place.