Date of Graduation

Summer 2023

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Purpose: The rate of infant mortality serves as a crucial indicator of the overall health of society (CDC, 2022). The five leading causes of infant mortality are birth defects, preterm birth, sudden infant death syndrome, injuries, and maternal pregnancy complications. The prevalence of infant mortality varies across states, with eastern states and minority-ethnicity infants having higher prevalence. This thesis proposes utilizing the Safe to Sleep framework to introduce Giving Breath, a public health education campaign that introduced breastfeeding as an intervention to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).


  1. Analyze current and new policies' impact on women's rights to breastfeed their infants.
  2. Compare institution databases (California Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that reflect the prevalence of SUID among various ethnicities in the United States.
  3. Develop the proposed framework with relevant literature on breastfeeding and SUID within PubMed and the National Library of Medicine.

Results: The prevalence of SUID has decreased through the implementation of initiatives (Safe to Sleep) and policies (The California Lactation Accommodation Law of 2002, The Breastfeeding Education & Support of 2007, and Providing Urgent Maternal Protection (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act of 2022). Further enforcement of policies through Giving Breath is needed to decrease the prevalence of SUID, particularly for unknown causes.

Conclusion: Public health education campaigns have successfully encouraged behavior change at individual, interpersonal, community, organizational, and structural levels. Giving Breath can encourage mothers to breastfeed their infant without fearing shame and sexualization, recognizing it as the most natural act they can do.