Although the importance of breastfeeding is almost universally accepted, the rates of breastfeeding are improving very slowly. The current literature provides much insight as to how medical professionals such as obstetricians and lactation specialists could improve the rates of breastfeeding. The pediatrician could encourage breastfeeding at a prime opportunity: during post-natal visits. Unfortunately, there is limited research on what role the pediatrician plays in breastfeeding success. This study used in-depth, qualitative interviews from four pediatricians to gather data on the true role of the pediatrician in breastfeeding. These pediatricians were selected based on the diverse patient population they serve, considering factors such as race, socioeconomic status, and geographic density. The hypothesis stated that pediatricians have a strong positive impact on the culture around breastfeeding but may not be fulfilling their duties to promote breastfeeding to the fullest extent, as compared to the June 2022 recommendation set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Through this study, we can see that pediatricians follow the AAP recommendations in some areas and some recommendations are simply unrealistic for their patients. We also understand how some disparities, specifically the socioeconomic disparity, manifests in mothers and how that affects pediatric practice. This information can be used to improve these AAP guidelines for pediatricians and help improve pediatric practice.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Bansal, Sanya, "Advocacy with Context: The Role of Pediatricians in Breastfeeding Success" (2023). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1330.