Eve Holzemer & Mumba Mumba

Bio for Dr. Eve Holzemer

Dr. Holzemer graduated in 1978 with a diploma in nursing from Jewish Hospital School of Nursing, a BSN from McKendree College in Lebanon Illinois in 1984, a MSN as an Adult Nurse Practitioner in 1998, and doctorate in nursing practice in December 2010.

Dr. Holzemer joined the VA St. Louis Health Care System as the Woman Veterans Program Manager in December 2012, and she was actively involved in developing processes for enhanced patient care and programs for Women Veterans within the VA St. Louis Health Care System, including the development of the new Mammography Unit, and Research.  On January 8, 2018, she was promoted to the VISN Lead position for Women’s Health, working with 7 facilities in process improvement. She is also an Adjunct Faculty for the Saint Louis University School of Nursing and teaches in the DNP program.

Bio for Mumba Mumba

Dr. Mumba graduated with a Ph.D. in communication studies with a concentration in health communication from Ohio University in 2011. She has a Master of Public Health from St. Louis University College of Public Health and Social Justice. She taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor of communication at Illinois College, in Jacksonville, IL and is currently is an Associate Professor of communication at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, IL. Her research interests focus on women’s health specifically focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. She has conducted research on women’s health more specifically on breastfeeding, and high-risk sexual behaviors of women. Her recent publication was published in Women’s Reproductive Health journal.  Mumba M., & Quinlan, M.  (2016) Combat breasts and intimate citizenship: Media coverage of breastfeeding Women in the U.S. Air Force, Women’s Reproductive Health, 3(3), 178-197, DOI: 10.1080/23293691.2016.1237722


Women Veterans have not been independently surveyed for determinants that contribute to their success with breastfeeding. A cross-sectional study design was used on a sample of Women Veterans who delivered a live birth between January 1, 2014 and August 31, 2016.  A sample of 900 Women Veterans was accessed using the VINCI system, which resulted in a response rate of 6% from 56 Women Veterans.  Descriptive statistics was conducted. The findings indicate that most of Women Veterans intended to breastfeed prior to delivery.  While most Women Veterans endorsed the necessary skills to breastfeed, only 35.71% had confidence in their ability to breastfeed, and 25% expressed that breastfeeding was not easy.  Women Veterans often stopped breastfeeding when their baby was between 6-9 months and started supplementing between 3-6 months. The respondents reported receiving support for breastfeeding from their spouse, mother and health care provider. The Women Veterans were aware of the breastfeeding support by the VA which provides a supportive structure to increase confidence and manage the challenges associated with breastfeeding.  The VA continues to provide support structures which include lactation specialists during the prenatal and postnatal period.

Examining the Breastfeeding Duration of Women Veterans in VISN 15 and the Predictor of Breastfeeding Continuation and Cessation

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