Educational Telenovela (Soap Opera) Approach to Promote Breastfeeding among U.S. Latinas
Breastfeeding provides infants with more nutritional value, higher immune resistance, and lower rates of obesity later in life relative to infant formula. In order to promote breastfeeding a “telenovela” (soap opera) approach was used to educate pregnant recipients of the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program about the benefits of breastfeeding. Participants were assigned to either a control group, who received standard education from WIC, or the intervention group, who received standard WIC education plus viewing the telenovela. Our analyses did not demonstrate any significant differences between the control group and intervention group on changes in attitudes towards breastfeeding immediately before and after the intervention. However, important lessons were learned about conducting community research; using the telenovela engaged participants in conversations about breastfeeding with their health educator and can be used for additional support in creating and delivering effective breastfeeding messages.