Physicians ask for more problem-solving information to promote and support breastfeeding

J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Dec;105(12):1943-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.09.007.


Physicians (n=262) were surveyed about their breastfeeding promotion practices, knowledge, and areas in which they need more information in order to be more influential with patients in the initiation and duration of the process. Over half (51%) reported no or limited education in breastfeeding, whereas only 9% reported adequate education. A knowledge assessment indicated almost half (42%) did not know certain viruses can be transmitted through breast milk. There were also mixed responses to the need for vitamin D supplementation. Promotion practices included most (82%) thinking the physician has a primary role in the feeding decision, and most did discuss the benefits with patients; however, only 54% would recommend breastfeeding to a patient who had decided to bottle-feed. Problem-solving was the main area physicians reported needing more education. Partnerships with dietetics professionals may fill the gaps in the support needed to increase rates of breastfeeding.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Dietetics
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nebraska
  • Obstetrics
  • Pediatrics
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Physicians, Family
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Problem Solving*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires