Online Program

Role of clinicians in breastfeeding practice in athens-clarke county, Georgia

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Rachel Powell, MPH, CHES, CPH, Department: Health Promotion & Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Ann Sears, M, Ed, WIC Program, Northeast Health District, Athens, GA
Marsha Davis, PhD, Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Alex Kojo Anderson, PhD, MPH, CPH, Department of Foods & Nutrition, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Despite the endorsement of breastfeeding as the optimum form of infant feeding by a number of health and nutrition organizations/agencies, most southern states, including Georgia, have low rates of breastfeeding and did not attain most of the Healthy People 2010 objectives for breastfeeding. The situation is reported to be due in part to lack and timing of clinical support, even though there appear to be increased breastfeeding education in the content of medical and nursing school training curricula now than in the 20th century. To better understand the low rates of breastfeeding in Georgia from health care providers' perspective, we interviewed nine clinicians (2 pediatricians, 1 obstetrician/gynecologists, 2 nurses, 2 lactation consultants, and 2 midwives) from Athens-Clarke County. This qualitative study attempted to capture the interactions mothers have with clinicians about breastfeeding, as well as, potential barriers in education and clinician care that may impair mothers' ability to successfully breastfeed. Our preliminary results from the interviews reveal that although clinicians are discussing breastfeeding with their patients, there are inconsistencies in the information and support they provide, based on the type of clinician that they are. Obstetrician, gynecologists, and pediatricians are more accepting of whatever the mothers' decision is, while midwives and nurses continue to encourage breastfeeding consistently. Our findings suggest that provision of breastfeeding education during visits, as well as, diversifying the education to include non-traditional topics, such as self-advocacy within the hospital setting, may help improve breastfeeding rates and acceptance of the practice in the Athens-Clarke County of Georgia.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Assess clinicians role in the practice of breastfeeding Identify areas of improvement for clinical staff in breastfeeding education, support, and encouragement Identify citywide resources and opportunities for breastfeeding in Athens, Clarke County, Georgia

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Health Education Strategies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because as a PhD Student in Health Promotion & Behavior, I worked on this project. Also, I have a MPH in Maternal & Child Health/Health Education & Communication and have past experience working with breastfeeding research projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.