Presentation Type

Poster

Title of Abstract

The Development of Professional Healthcare Support for Breastfeeding: A Content Analysis of the Journal of Human Lactation

Abstract

The profession of Lactation Consulting, which specializes in breastfeeding and human lactation, has undergone significant changes since its beginning in 1985, and it continues to change today. This study analyzes the Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) in order to learn about the changes, contributions and expansion of the field of lactation consulting and its importance worldwide. The JHL has been published quarterly since 1985, and each of the four journals were studied in five-year intervals using content analysis. By reading abstracts, each article was analyzed and categorized, demonstrating changes in the journal’s content over 25 years. Findings include significant increases in the number of articles with a clinical focus, whereas articles addressing the profession itself decreased over time. The results reflect how the profession has evolved into a more medical one, which improves its credibility as a new healthcare profession, and also tracks the growth and expansion of the field. This research contributes to the increased focus on professional support of breastfeeding, as seen in the 2011 U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, and has implications for improving the health of infants and children worldwide.

Key Words: Lactation Consultants, original research, breastfeeding, public health, nutrition, field expansion.

Categories

Social Sciences

Research Type

Research Assistant

Mentor Information

Aimee Eden, MA

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The Development of Professional Healthcare Support for Breastfeeding: A Content Analysis of the Journal of Human Lactation

The profession of Lactation Consulting, which specializes in breastfeeding and human lactation, has undergone significant changes since its beginning in 1985, and it continues to change today. This study analyzes the Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) in order to learn about the changes, contributions and expansion of the field of lactation consulting and its importance worldwide. The JHL has been published quarterly since 1985, and each of the four journals were studied in five-year intervals using content analysis. By reading abstracts, each article was analyzed and categorized, demonstrating changes in the journal’s content over 25 years. Findings include significant increases in the number of articles with a clinical focus, whereas articles addressing the profession itself decreased over time. The results reflect how the profession has evolved into a more medical one, which improves its credibility as a new healthcare profession, and also tracks the growth and expansion of the field. This research contributes to the increased focus on professional support of breastfeeding, as seen in the 2011 U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, and has implications for improving the health of infants and children worldwide.

Key Words: Lactation Consultants, original research, breastfeeding, public health, nutrition, field expansion.