Too few minority women breastfeed—can ob/gyns change their minds?

Too few minority women breastfeed -- can ob/gyns change their minds?
Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Obstetricians and gynecologists have a unique opportunity to educate and encourage minority women to nurse their infants to help reduce persistent racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding. As part of prenatal care, ob/gyns should promote the known health benefits of breastfeeding and help identify potential barriers their minority patients may face, according to an article in Breastfeeding Medicine.

Coauthors Katherine Jones, Michael Power, PhD, John Queenan, and Jay Schulkin, PhD, from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American University, and Georgetown University, Washington, DC, present data from a comprehensive literature review demonstrating lower rates of breastfeeding initiation and continuation for some racial and in the U.S. compared to White women. By understanding the cultural and social factors and the inadequacies of the healthcare system that may affect a minority woman's decision to breastfeed and her attitudes toward nursing, ob/gyns may be better able to help their patients overcome obstacles to nursing.

In the article "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding," the authors provide information such as what programs and techniques can positively impact these rates and they urge ob/gyns to use these data to support breastfeeding in their clinical practices and in public policy.

"The persistent disparities cast shame on our healthcare system, a system that continues to short change that part of our population that is most in need of the benefits of breastfeeding," says Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine. "Hopefully clinicians will incorporate the information in this article into their daily activities and reverse this negative situation."


Explore further

AAFP issues comprehensive breastfeeding toolkit

More information: The article is available free on the Breastfeeding Medicine website until May 14, 2015.
Citation: Too few minority women breastfeed—can ob/gyns change their minds? (2015, April 14) retrieved 24 November 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-04-minority-women-breastfeedcan-obgyns-minds.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
5 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments