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Maternal & Infant Wellness


Carolinas Healthcare Employees Study


For working mothers, the transition back to work represents a critical transition and has notable impact on breastfeeding duration. Providing breastfeeding support in the workplace has been identified as a useful intervention for improving breastfeeding outcomes and job satisfaction.  This study examines breastfeeding attitudes, experiences, and outcomes among Carolinas Healthcare System employees.  The first two phases of the study involve data collection via a mixed methods design.  The third phase of the study involves developing an intervention to improve workplace support for breastfeeding. 

The Carolinas Healthcare System is one of the largest public, not-for-profit healthcare systems in the U.S. and one of the largest employers in North Carolina. Its diverse workforce, including a large number of female employees, makes it an ideal venue to study breastfeeding practices, needs of working mothers, as well as perceptions of workplace breastfeeding support. Click here for additional information about the CHEBS project. 


The iCare Study

Being a first-time mother comes with a host of new experiences. These experiences can be very rewarding, but they can also introduce many new stressors. During pregnancy and thereafter, first-time mothers are grappling with numerous physical, physiological, and psychological changes that influence the views they have about themselves, their partners, and their larger social context. This is also a time when mothers are experiencing a wave of emotions and quickly learning what it means to be a mother. These changes, which are occurring throughout pregnancy, may leave women more or less prepared to face the challenges of rearing an infant for the first time. The decisions that mothers make in infancy regarding caregiving have long-lasting consequences for their child’s health and wellness. Choosing to breastfeed and engaging in sensitive parenting are two behavioral attributes that are known to contribute significantly to maternal and infant wellness. These behaviors can be particularly challenging for first-time mothers who are still developing the knowledge and skills associated with parenthood.

This study examines the relationship between infant feeding and caregiving practices among first-time mothers.  It is a longitudinal study, involving quantitative and qualitative data collection across four time points. The results from this study are intended to (1) expand existing knowledge about the relationship between breastfeeding and parenting practices, and (2) inform future interventions aimed to promote maternal and infant wellness. Click here to learn more about the iCare study.


Are you an expectant first-time mom and interested in participating in the study?  

Click here for the study postcard, and contact us at


Post-Partum Depression Study



The post-partum depression study seeks to improve the identification of mothers experiencing post-partum depression and to refer mothers to affordable, reliable mental health services.  This project relates directly to the action-research areas of both Maternal & Infant Wellness, as well as Integrated Healthcare. For additional project information, click here. 


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