Prenatal education and breast feeding - Tips From Other Journals

Date: March, 1991

Since the 1970s, breast feeding has increased in the United States, but it has not increased at the same rate in all population groups. Almost twice as many white women as black women breast-feed their infants. To identify interventions that are associated with increased breast feeding, Kistin and colleagues evaluated the effects of prenatal education on breast feeding.

A total of 130 black women attending the prenatal clinic of an urban public hospital participated in the study. The women were randomly assigned to one of three groups. The control group received normal prenatal care. The second group received normal prenatal care and attended classes covering the myths, benefits and problems of breast feeding. The third group received normal care plus individualized counseling about breast feeding: the topics discussed were similar to those covered in the classes. Breast-feeding preference was determined at registration and again soon after delivery. Women who chose to breast-feed were followed from the time of discharge until the time breast feeding was stopped.

Although roughly the same percentage of women in each group initially planned to breast-feed, there were significant differences among the groups in the percentage of women who actually breast-fed. Overall, only 23 percent of the women in the control group breast-fed their infants, compared with 45 percent of the women who attended classes and 50 percent of those who received individual counseling. In addition, more of the women who received counseling or who attended classes breast-fed even though they had not intended to do so at the time of registration.

The authors concluded that educational interventions may be helpful in increasing breast feeding among black women who seek prenatal care at an urban public hospital. (Pediatrics, November 1990, vol. 86, p. 741.)

COPYRIGHT 1991 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

© 2006,, All Rights Reserved.