Breastfeeding attitudes and knowledge of pediatricians-in-training

Am J Prev Med. Jan-Feb 1995;11(1):26-33.


A 15-minute questionnaire was administered to the pediatric housestaff in an academic training program to assess their breastfeeding attitudes, knowledge, and confidence to manage breastfeeding problems. Questionnaires were self-administered and anonymous. The participation rate was 53% (n = 29). Overall, the study participants indicated a supportive attitude toward breastfeeding (2.6 on a 6-point scale where 1 = most supportive and 6 = least supportive). Women agreed more strongly than men that pediatricians should strongly encourage mothers to breastfeed and disagreed more strongly than men that breastfeeding is instinctive. Although supportive of breastfeeding, the housestaff in this study were not knowledgeable regarding breastfeeding management, answering only 53% of the questions correctly. Their self-confidence in this area was appropriately low, with only 14% of the total sample describing themselves as "confident" or "very confident" to manage common breastfeeding problems. Pediatricians-in-training have extremely limited knowledge of breastfeeding management. To be truly supportive of breastfeeding, pediatricians should receive didactic and clinical training in breastfeeding management.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Pediatrics* / education
  • Surveys and Questionnaires