Breastfeeding counseling by health care providers.
This study sought to identify the content and source of information given to prospective breastfeeding mothers. The population included 111 mothers attempting to breastfeed at a community hospital during a 3-month period. Questionnaires were used to assess prenatal preparation and specific breastfeeding issues discussed by health care providers. During the prenatal period, 23% of mothers received counsel from their obstetrician, 47% from books, and 21% from classes. Postpartum, nurses provided breastfeeding information to 87% of mothers whereas obstetricians and pediatricians provided advice to 27% and 33% of mothers, respectively. Many women do not receive supportive breastfeeding counseling from physicians. Health care providers must develop better methods of prenatal and postpartum education to enhance breastfeeding initiation and continuation.
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