Background: During medical school and residency training, physicians are taught that breastfeeding is the preferred feeding for all infants, with rare exceptions. But evidence is accumulating that while physician mothers have a high rate of breastfeeding initiation, they face significant obstacles to sustained breastfeeding. Methods: In our academic medical center, we conducted a brief survey of physicians who have young children, to explore their own experiences with breastfeeding. The survey explored the physician-as-parent's own experiences with breastfeeding-prenatal intentions, postnatal difficulties, ability to meet goals, emotions if goals were not met, resources for support pre- and postnatally, and ideas about what would have helped her breastfeed longer. Results: Two-thirds of the physicians who initiated breastfeeding had difficulties. Among those with difficulties, about three-fourths were able to resolve them. Conclusions: Even mothers who are medical professionals experience, and often cannot overcome, difficulties with breastfeeding. Women in medicine need enhanced breastfeeding support and services/resources. Advocacy is needed, in our work environments, for better breastfeeding support not only for our physician colleagues, but also for all lactating employees within our institutions.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - Jun 1 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Maternity and Midwifery