Development and Evaluation of a Lactation Rotation for a Pediatric Residency Program

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Abstract

Background:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians promote and help manage breastfeeding. However, research has shown that they are not adequately prepared. To address this gap, a 2-week mandatory lactation rotation program was developed for first-year pediatric residents.

Research aim:

The aim of the study was to provide a lactation education program and to measure the residents’ knowledge and perceived confidence regarding breastfeeding.

Methods:

This longitudinal self-report pretest/posttest study was conducted with a convenience sample of 45 first-year pediatric residents. Each resident spent a minimum of 50 hours with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. To measure breastfeeding knowledge and clinical confidence, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Breastfeeding Residency Curriculum pretest was used 4 times: first and last day of the rotation and at 6 and 12 months postrotation.

Results:

Test and confidence scores were evaluated. Statistically significant differences in knowledge were found between test 1 when compared with tests 2, 3, and 4 (p < .001). No significant differences were found between tests 2, 3, and 4 (p > .05). The abilities to “adequately address parents’ questions” and to “completely manage common problems” were significant, with confidence increasing in tests 2, 3, and 4 (p < .001).

Conclusion:

As a result of an innovative, comprehensive educational lactation program, the pediatric residents’ knowledge and perceived confidence related to breastfeeding significantly increased.

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