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  1. Gyamfi, Adwoa PhD, MPH, BSc, RN
  2. Spatz, Diane L. PhD, RN-BC, FAAN
  3. Jefferson, Urmeka T. PhD, RN
  4. Lucas, Ruth PhD, RNC, CLS
  5. O'Neill, Barbara PhD, RN
  6. Henderson, Wendy A. PhD, CRNP, FAASLD, FAAN


Background: In the United States, there are racial disparities in 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Only, 25.8% of American infants were breastfed for the first 180 days of life, with African American infants least (19.8%) exclusively breastfed in 2018.


Purpose: The meta-ethnography explored the breastfeeding support for African American women in the United States.


Data Sources: The online databases of American Psychological Association, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PubMed, and Scopus were searched with key words, and the search was not limited by the year of publication.


Study Selection: The inclusion criteria for the study selection entailed all qualitative studies conducted on breastfeeding support among self-identified African American women in the United States, written in English language, peer reviewed, or dissertation. The initial search produced 905 articles of which 8 met the eligibility criteria.


Data Extraction: Data extraction and analysis were guided by Noblit and Hare's (1988) meta-ethnography approach. The analysis process was completed by a team of researchers, inclusive of breastfeeding experts.


Results: Five overarching themes emerged including trustworthy information; early postpartum support by key influencers; maternal culture; tangible resources, and Black mothers' empowerment.


Implications for Practice and Research: Social support is a major determinant for the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding among African American women in the United States. Future longitudinal studies are warranted to explore the social support of breastfeeding among African American women in the United States.