Knowledge about breastfeeding among a group of primary care physicians and residents in Puerto Rico

  • Leavitt G
  • Martínez S
  • Ortiz N
 et al. 
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Abstract

Physicians have an essential role in promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding as the ideal method of infant feeding. They are in an important position to promote breastfeeding but report difficulty in advising mothers with lactation problems. The purpose of this study is to assess knowledge about breastfeeding among primary care physicians and residents and identify potential barriers to its promotion. One hundred seventy-seven residents and physicians answered an anonymous questionnaire. The participants recognized breastfeeding benefits but 26% did not encourage exclusive breastfeeding. Mastitis, breast abscess, and the use of medications by the mother were considered contraindications to breastfeeding. Temporary breastfeeding discontinuation and bilirubin levels measurement were the preferred recommendations for the jaundiced infant. Most physicians received training in breastfeeding benefits although they report fair knowledge in myths, techniques, and contraindications. Physicians demonstrated to recognize breastfeeding benefits, but formal education is needed to eliminate barriers to breastfeeding promotion and support.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Breastfeeding barriers
  • Breastfeeding knowledge
  • Medical education

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Authors

  • Gloria Leavitt

  • Silma Martínez

  • Nerian Ortiz

  • Lourdes García

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