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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Nov;173(5):1607-13.

Breast-feeding education of obstetrics-gynecology residents and practitioners.

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Division of Community Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599-7590, USA.



Our purpose was to assess breast-feeding education, knowledge, attitudes, and practices among resident and practicing obstetrician-gynecologists.


A mailed survey was administered to a national sample of resident and practicing obstetrician-gynecologists.


Response rates were 64% for residents and 69% for practitioners. Residency training included limited opportunity for direct patient interaction regarding breast-feeding; 60% of practitioners recommended that training devote more time to breast-feeding counseling skills. Only 38% of residents reported that obstetric faculty presented breast-feeding topics; more common sources were nursing staff and other residents. Practitioners rated themselves as more effective in meeting the needs of breast-feeding patients than were residents; prior personal breast-feeding experience was a significant influence on perceived effectiveness. Almost all respondents agreed that obstretician-gynecologists have a role in breast-feeding promotion, but significant deficits in knowledge of breast-feeding benefits and clinical management were found.


Residency training and continuing education programs should create opportunities to practice breast-feeding promotion skills and emphasize management of common lactation problems.

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