Current Content
Volume 48 - Number 3
May/June 2022

Implementing Breastfeeding Education in Pediatric Settings

Keri L. Durocher and Jody L. Ralph

Breastfeeding adherence rates in community and acute hospital settings are substandard across many developed nations, despite the development of programs to support them. For example, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative program was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to enhance breastfeeding success. A narrative review of the literature relevant to community and acute pediatric health care settings indicates that enhanced education for interdisciplinary team members needs to be implemented to support breastfeeding. The 28 articles in this review include systematic reviews; randomized control trials; case-control, cohort, descriptive, and qualitative studies; as well as opinion articles. After synthesizing study results into content themes, it is evident that initiation and management of breastfeeding within these settings can be improved through increased health care provider knowledge. A narrative summary of the evidence reveals that issues related to breastfeeding promotion in community and acute pediatric settings are due to complacency with early cessation, inadequate health care pro vider knowledge, and overreliance on Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLCs). Recommendations from gathered studies include educational approaches that can be implemented through managerial and clinical strategies, structured breastfeeding education programs, and module-based learning. Hands-on learning of health care professionals with assistive devices to troubleshoot breastfeeding issues will also assist with breastfeeding success in pediatric settings. If health care leaders can adopt strategies outlined in this article related to their organizational needs, breastfeeding success will be enhanced in the future.