Health Professionals’ Attitudes and Beliefs About Breastfeeding

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The Journal of Perinatal Education




The aim of this descriptive study was to investigate how health-care providers perceived their role in breastfeeding and maternal support. Data was collected via interviews of 53 health-care professionals that provided care to breastfeeding women. The emerging themes included (a) understanding the benefits of breastfeeding: often lacking current knowledge, (b) lacking consistency: gaps between knowledge of benefits and actual clinical practice, (c) not knowing how to help: lack of assessment and therapeutic skills, and (d) understanding the barriers to breastfeeding: how health-care providers can make a difference. Data analysis suggests inconsistencies between the health-care provider’s perceived support and behaviors, lack of knowledge, and significant lack of skill in the assessment and management of breastfeeding couples.