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South Med J. 1992 May;85(5):483-5.

Attitudes and education of pediatric house staff concerning breast-feeding.

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Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex.


Pediatricians are expected to offer information and advice on breast-feeding to expectant and lactating mothers, but the educational experience for pediatric residents may not adequately prepare them for this responsibility. To examine knowledge and confidence regarding breast-feeding gained by pediatric house staff during their residency, a survey was administered to pediatric residents in a large, hospital-based training program. Of 108 program residents, 87 (81%) participated. Forty-one percent of the respondents were postgraduate level I (PL-I), 29% were PL-II, and 30% were PL-III. There was no evidence that PL-III residents were more competent or comfortable with routine breast-feeding counseling or intervention than their PL-I counterparts. Residents who had breast-fed, those with spouses who had breast-fed, and those with children of their own had the greatest knowledge and confidence base in several areas, such as their ability to teach breast-feeding techniques and to treat cracked nipples. They were also more familiar with different types of breastpumps. There were no significant differences among those who were or were not breast-fed as a child nor among men versus women. Residency programs must provide comprehensive education on breast-feeding to prepare future pediatricians to meet the needs of patients and their parents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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