Laura Kair, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at UC Davis, has received a $14,000 grant to study whether the distribution of breast pumps at hospital discharge improves exclusive breastfeeding rates among low-income, first-time mothers.
The research is funded by the Academic Pediatric Association Nutrition in Underserved Communities Young Investigator Program.
With this grant funding, Kair will enroll 60 mothers in a pilot randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of hospital distribution of manual breast pumps to low-income, first-time mothers who intend to exclusively breastfeed their infants for three months. They will also assess how mothers feel about receiving the breast pump and whether it helps them meet their infant-feeding goals.
Low-income mothers have lower odds of both partial and exclusive breastfeeding to three months than higher-income mothers. First-time mothers have higher odds of early breastfeeding cessation and early formula introduction than mothers with previous breastfeeding experience.
“We want to know whether breast pumps will help decrease mothers’ reliance on formula and improve their ability to maintain their milk supply when they are away from their babies,” said Kair.
Caroline Chantry, professor of clinical pediatrics at UC Davis, will be Kair’s primary mentor. Daniel Tancredi, associate professor-in-residence in the Department of Pediatrics and the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, will be her secondary mentor.
The Nutrition in Underserved Communities Young Investigator Program funds research focused on improving nutrition and nutrition-related health issues in children aged 0 to 21 years old. Projects must focus on low-income populations, involve primary data collection and include quantitative or qualitative research methods. The program is funded by a donation from the Karp family in honor of Robert Karp. More information at www.academicpeds.org/research/research_YIA_nutri.cfm.