Public beliefs about breastfeeding policies in various settings
To understand the public beliefs about breastfeeding policies in various settings and to examine the associations of these beliefs with sociodemographic characteristics, we analyze the data from the 2001 Healthstyles survey, which is an annual national mail survey to US adults. We found that establishing workplace breastfeeding policies and lactation rooms in public places are the most acceptable breastfeeding policies surveyed, especially among African Americans and low-income populations. The overall population appears to approve of breastfeeding in public, but less-educated or older people (aged ≥45 years) are less likely to do so. In general, there is relatively less public support for breastfeeding education in high schools. The results indicate that many Americans, especially African Americans and those with low household income, believe that women who breastfeed need extra support both at work and in public places. A variety of policy strategies would be appropriate to create a favorable environment for breastfeeding.