Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Title

Exposure of Breastfeeding Education to OB/GYNS Currently Practicing in the State of Mississippi and Its Effect on Confidence in Providing Breastfeeding Support to Expectant Mothers

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.S. in Food and Nutrition Services

First Advisor

Anne K. Bomba

Second Advisor

Yunhee Chang

Third Advisor

Melinda W. Valliant

Abstract

There are several well documented benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and child, however, Mississippi breastfeeding rates are lacking when compared to the rest of the United States. It is believed that breastfeeding encouragement and support from prenatal healthcare providers can play a major role in mothers choosing to initiate breastfeeding. OB/GYNs should be at the forefront of this initiative because they have repeat prenatal contact with many mothers. In order to provide breastfeeding encouragement and support to expectant mothers, OB/GYNs must have adequate breastfeeding education and the confidence to support these mothers. This study analyzed the amount of breastfeeding education received throughout medical school and during residency by OB/GYNs currently practicing in Mississippi and its effect on their confidence to provide breastfeeding support to expectant mothers. Results showed that Mississippi OB/GYNs are not getting adequate breastfeeding education throughout medical school and residency. Results also show that while Mississippi OB/GYNs are fairly confident in referring mothers for breastfeeding counseling, they are not as confident in teaching new mothers to breastfeed or in helping new mothers with breastfeeding problems. Breastfeeding education should be provided in medical school and should continue throughout residency for OB/GYNs so that they are confident in providing needed education to expecting mothers so that these mothers can make an informed and well educated infant feeding decision.

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