Effects of Social Stigma on Breastfeeding

Faculty Sponsor

Matthew Ringenberg


Arts and Sciences


Social Work

ORCID Identifier(s)


Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-4-2017


This study explored whether there is a relationship between the current negative social stigma around public breastfeeding and the rates of mothers who choose to breastfeed and continue to breastfeed as long as is recommended. To do this, a survey was sent to mothers asking questions about a variety of things such as if they ever breastfed, were they comfortable doing so, would they be comfortable to do so in public, etc. This study examines the relationship between social stigma and mothers choosing whether or not to breastfeed their children. This could help to better understand the obstacles of breastfeeding mothers and also offer another way to better support them.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Both Felicia Hunter and Alice Baker are students at Valparaiso University. Felicia is also a mother of a 2-year-old boy who faced her own struggles with breastfeeding. She wanted to study this topic so she could find ways to better support breastfeeding mothers so that more might choose to do so.

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