Too few minority women breastfeed -- can ob/gyns change their minds?


Obstetricians and gynecologists have a unique opportunity to educate and encourage minority women to nurse their infants to help reduce persistent racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding. As part of prenatal care, ob/gyns should promote the known health benefits of breastfeeding and help identify potential barriers their minority patients may face, according to an article in Breastfeeding Medicine, the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Breastfeeding Medicine website until May 14, 2015.

Coauthors Katherine Jones, Michael Power, PhD, John Queenan, and Jay Schulkin, PhD, from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American University, and Georgetown University, Washington, DC, present data from a comprehensive literature review demonstrating lower rates of breastfeeding initiation and continuation for some racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. compared to White women. By understanding the cultural and social factors and the inadequacies of the healthcare system that may affect a minority woman’s decision to breastfeed and her attitudes toward nursing, ob/gyns may be better able to help their patients overcome obstacles to nursing. (read more)