The objective of this study was to determine the obstetric care providers' roles in breast-feeding promotion during prenatal care. A questionnaire addressing breast-feeding issues was sent to family practitioners (FP), obstetric-gynecologists (OB/GYN), and nurse midwives (NM) in Iowa, USA. All NM, 97% of FP, and 85% of OB/GYN reported asking infant feeding preference-usually only at the first prenatal visit. NM (73%) were most likely to provide extensive breast-feeding counseling. OB/GYN (68%) and FP physicians (90%) reported doing their own breast-feeding counseling. Breast examinations targeting future breast-feeding problems were done in 82% to 84% of patients. NM practices shared more information supportive of breast-feeding. Nearly all providers offered prenatal classes, but only 41% of FP offered breast-feeding classes. Free formula samples were available in 73% of FP, 54% of OB/GYN, and 36% NM offices. Pamphlets on formula feeding and also breast-feeding were readily available. Overall NM (64%) reported being strong breast-feeding advocates compared to only 13% of FP and 7% of OB/GYN. In conclusion, little promotion of breast-feeding occurs in most prenatal practice settings.