Poor coverage of breastfeeding found at first prenatal visit

Poor coverage of breastfeeding found at first prenatal visit

(HealthDay)—Education about breastfeeding at the first prenatal visit typically is infrequent and limited, according to research published online Nov. 6 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jill R. Demirci, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues performed an analysis of a large study involving health care providers and patients attending a single prenatal clinic. Audio recordings and transcripts from 172 initial prenatal visits were reviewed to assess the characteristics of discussions between obstetric providers (including 36 obstetrics-gynecology residents, six nurse midwives, and five nurse practitioners) and pregnant women.

The researchers found that discussions about breastfeeding were infrequent (29 percent of visits) and brief (mean length, 39 seconds). Recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists breastfeeding guidelines were mentioned in 69 percent of breastfeeding discussions. Certified midwives were significantly more likely to discuss breastfeeding than residents (odds ratio, 24.54). Women who indicated interest in breastfeeding at the first prenatal visit were significantly more likely to have the discussion.

"Observed breastfeeding education at the first prenatal visit was suboptimal," the authors write. "The causes and effect of this deficiency on breastfeeding outcomes remains an important point of investigation."

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