Attitudes and education of pediatric house staff concerning breast-feeding

South Med J. 1992 May;85(5):483-5. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199205000-00006.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires