HealthDay News — Education about breastfeeding at the first prenatal visit is typically infrequent and limited, researchers have found.

Among 172 initial prenatal visits analyzed just 29% involved a discussion about breastfeeding, with providers spending an average of 39 seconds discussing the topic, Jill R. Demirci, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues reported in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

They performed an analysis of a large study involving healthcare providers and patients attending a single prenatal clinic, reviewing audio recordings and transcripts to determine characteristics of breastfeeding discussions that 36 obstetrics-gynecology residents, six nurse midwives and five nurse practitioners had with pregnant women.

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Certified nurse midwives were significantly more likely to discuss breastfeeding than residents (odds ratio 24.54, 95% CI: 3.78-159.06; P<0.01), the researchers found. Women who indicated interest in breastfeeding at the first prenatal visit were significantly more likely to have the discussion.

Overall, 69% of breastfeeding discussions mentioned guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“Observed breastfeeding education at the first prenatal visit was suboptimal,” the authors write. “The causes and effect of this deficiency on breastfeeding outcomes remains an important point of investigation.”


  1. Demirci JR et al. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2013; doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000435453.93732.a6.