Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 545–547 | Cite as

A Practical Intervention to Increase Breastfeeding Initiation Among Cambodian Women in the US

  • Sharon Galvin
  • Xena Grossman
  • Lori Feldman-Winter
  • Jana Chaudhuri
  • Anne Merewood


Cambodians have the lowest breastfeeding initiation rate of any racial/ethnic group in Massachusetts. One barrier to breastfeeding is a lack of hospital foods that allow women to follow a traditional diet postpartum. We examined whether a culturally acceptable menu for new Cambodian mothers would increase breastfeeding initiation in the hospital. After a staff training program on breastfeeding, and the creation of a Cambodian menu, initiation rates increased significantly more in Cambodians than in non-Cambodians. Pre intervention, breastfeeding initiation was 16.7% (2/12) among Cambodians, compared to 60.6% (106/175) among non-Cambodians (P = 0.003). Post intervention, there was no significant difference between breastfeeding initiation rates among Cambodian women (66.7%; 8/12) compared to non-Cambodians (68.9%; 104/151) (P = 0.874).


Cambodian Culturally competent care Breastfeeding Hospital menu 



We would like to acknowledge the work of Lindsay P. MacAuley, MPH, for data collection, and Barbara L. Philipp, MD, for teaching part of Project HELP.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon Galvin
    • 1
  • Xena Grossman
    • 2
  • Lori Feldman-Winter
    • 3
  • Jana Chaudhuri
    • 4
  • Anne Merewood
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Maternal/ChildSaints Medical CenterLowellUSA
  2. 2.The Breastfeeding CenterBoston Medical CenterBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsThe Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper-UMDNJ-RWJMSCamdenUSA
  4. 4.Division of General PediatricsBoston Medical CenterBostonUSA
  5. 5.Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Medical CenterBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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