Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Health Sciences

Committee Member

Alice Jo Rainville

Committee Member

Judi Brooks

Committee Member

Debby Busick


Cesarean delivery and epidural anesthesia may require specific education and interventions for breastfeeding success. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of breastfeeding initiation and duration and explore specific breastfeeding needs for women who have had a Cesarean delivery or epidural anesthesia. Sixteen postpartum women aged 27 to 41 were recruited through a Lamaze center in Michigan. The women were interviewed with a questionnaire exploring their breastfeeding experiences and support needs after delivery, and use of artificial infant milk. All women initiated breastfeeding; 81% (n=13) breastfed their infant for at least 12 months. Cesarean delivery was associated with specialized breastfeeding needs, but epidural anesthesia by itself was not. Eighty-two percent (n=9) of infants born via Cesarean delivery received artificial infant milk, while only one of the women who had epidural anesthesia gave her infant artificial infant milk. Women who have Cesarean deliveries may require additional breastfeeding interventions.