Breastfeeding Education and Support Services Provided to Family Medicine and Obstetrics-Gynecology Residents

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10 Scopus citations


Background: Breastfeeding education is known to be insufficient in pediatric (PEDS) training and is, in part, responsible for suboptimal rates of breastfeeding. No recent studies about the level of education provided to family medicine (FM) and obstetrics-gynecology (OB) residency trainees are available. Objectives: This study was conducted to investigate breastfeeding education and support services provided to FM and OB residents in the United States. The results were compared with a 2011 study of PEDS residents. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a web-based survey emailed to program directors (PDs) of FM and OB residency programs in the United States. Results: Eighteen percent of PDs (95 of 515) completed the survey. Of these, 88% answered questions regarding education and support services provided. A median of 23 hours of breastfeeding education is provided to OB residents (4-year program) and 8 hours provided to FM residents (3-year program). In comparison, PEDS programs reported a median of 9 hours. The most commonly used settings included lectures with faculty and lactation consultants, similar to the PEDS study. Approximately 75% of respondents cited barriers to educating residents, with limited resident time being the most common. Eighty-one percent of respondents identified breastfeeding rooms as the service most frequently provided to residents who breastfeed. Conclusions: FM and PEDS residents are provided similar amounts of breastfeeding education, while OB programs provide more education, but in different settings. Reported barriers to this education are similar in all specialties. Support services are more commonly provided in PEDS programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-553
Number of pages6
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • breastfeeding
  • education
  • family medicine
  • obstetrics-gynecology
  • paediatrics
  • residency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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