A culture which prevailed in the mid-20th century America viewed breastfeeding as outside the norm, as “the special way,” became entrenched in Puerto Rico because of its close relationship with the United States. The prevalence of formula-feeding continues to be reflected today among low-income Puerto Rican women living in Hartford who tend to breastfeed less than other Latinas.
The desire to change this culture, to normalize and increase the use of a practice that most pediatricians and health care advocates endorse as the best way to nourish newborns and infants, inspired a peer counseling program. Breastfeeding: Heritage and Pride was developed by the Hispanic Health Council and has run in collaboration with Hartford Hospital over the past decade.
Recently, this “one woman helping another” approach, which had primarily centered in the heavily Hispanic neighborhoods near Hartford Hospital, has been able to increase its outreach to other parts …