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Doctors' Breastfeeding Training Needs Improvement

A new study in Pediatrics shows what happens when doctors get good training in breastfeeding management.

Everyone bemoans the fact (established in numerous studies) that doctors receive very limited training in breastfeeding care. In fact, some get more instruction on formula feeding than breastfeeding. And recent data show that pediatricans' attitudes toward breastfeeding are deteriorating. But until this study it hadn't been clearly shown that improving training would have an impact on breastfeeding outcomes.

This randomized, controlled study involving over 400 residents at a number of institutions, used a breastfeeding curriculum for residents designed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The results? Infants at the institutions in which the curriculum was implemented were more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months. Residents also showed improvements in knowledge, confidence, and practice patterns than the control group. 

Here's the great thing: the curriculum used is available for free on the American Academy of Pediatrics website. Now it's clear that it works. Let's hope it gets used.

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