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Enhancing Breastfeeding in Rural Tennessee Through Education

Purpose: To promote breastfeeding education and increase rate of exclusive postpartum breast-feeding to 10% in Rural Tennessee. 

Background: Breastfeeding provides many physical and emotional benefits to both the mother and baby. It is physiologically normal for mothers and children. Providing education about breastfeeding during pregnancy can help keep patients informed and increase breastfeeding rates postpartum.

Methods: We selected patients who never breastfed for this study. After signing the consent form at their initial obstetric visit, patients received education about lactation in the form of discussion, brochures, CD-ROMs, and flash drives during pregnancy, delivery, and during the postpartum period. Patients completed a survey during their initial obstetric about their prior knowledge of breastfeeding advantages, as well as their intention to breast feed. During the postpartum period, patients filled a survey about their satisfaction of the information they received, and their breastfeeding intention and success.

Results: We analyzed 141 antepartum and postpartum patients. Antepartum survey showed 84.5% wanted to breast feed and 82.5% knew the benefits of breast feeding. Postpartum survey showed 83.2% and 91% indicated that they received adequate information about lactation during pregnancy and delivery, respectively. The survey showed that 64.9% intended to breastfeed within the first 12 months; 35.1% (p value < 0.001) breastfed up to 6 weeks.  

Discussions: In rural Tennessee, providing breastfeeding knowledge throughout pregnancy, during delivery, and postpartum for obstetrics patients helped motivate them to breastfeed. This healthy approach increased from the State of Tennessee goal of 10% to 35.1% during the postpartum period.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2019, Resident, Faculty, Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, CME, Public Health, Advocacy, General Ob-Gyn,

General Information

Patient Care,Medical Knowledge,
Public Health,Advocacy,
Clinical Focus
General Ob-Gyn,

Author Information

Benjamin Spires, MD, University of Tennessee Medical Center - Knoxville; Nirmala Upadhyaya, MD, MPH; Robert Heidel, PhD; Bobby Howard, MD

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