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Acad Pediatr. 2011 Jan-Feb;11(1):75-9. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2010.11.002.

Breastfeeding education and support services offered to pediatric residents in the US.

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Department of Pediatrics and School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595, USA.



The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages pediatricians to support the practice of breastfeeding and residency educators to develop formal curricula in breastfeeding education. Few studies, however, describe breastfeeding education or support services currently provided to pediatric residents in the United States. The goals of this study were to investigate breastfeeding training offered during 3-year pediatric residency programs and to describe residency programs' policies and services for residents who breastfeed.


We conducted a cross-sectional study using a Web-based survey of pediatric program directors regarding breastfeeding education and support services for residents.


Seventy percent of program directors (132 of 189) completed the survey, with 77.3% of respondents (n = 102) estimating the amount of breastfeeding education offered to their pediatric residents. Residents are provided with a median total of 9.0 hours of breastfeeding training over 3 years, primarily in continuity clinic and in lectures and rounds with attendings. At the programs' primary teaching hospitals, breastfeeding residents are provided breastfeeding rooms (67.0%), breast pumps (75.3%), and breast milk storage facilities (87.6%). Only 10 programs reported having an official policy to accommodate breastfeeding residents.


Pediatric residents receive approximately 3 hours of breastfeeding training per year. In addition, there is less than universal implementation by residency programs of AAP recommendations for supporting breastfeeding in the workplace. Pediatric residency programs should find ways to improve and assess the quality of breastfeeding education and workplace support to better role model this advocacy standard.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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