Who Should Provide Breastfeeding Education to Improve Success: A midwife or a Physician?
Keywords:Breastfeeding education, LATCH, Midwife, Physician
Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore whether there was any difference in the breastfeeding success of mothers prior to hospital discharge who were given breastfeeding education by a physician (obstetrician-gynecologist) and a midwife with respect to the person giving the training.
Study Desıgn: The study was conducted between May- June 2015 on 200 mothers who gave their first full-term birth at the obstetrics and gynecology clinic of a tertiary hospital. The mothers were divided into two groups and each mother was explained the benefits of breastfeeding and given breastfeeding education when they became stabile in their beds after birth. One hundred of the mothers were trained by a midwife who received lactation consultancy training and the other hundred mothers by an obstetrician who also had the same training. After the education, each mother was observed while breastfeeding her baby by an investigator who also received lactation consultancy training, other than the ones who gave the training and the LATCH breastfeeding assessment tool was filled out. After calculating the LATCH score of each mother, the two groups were compared for their success in breastfeeding during discharge from the hospital with respect to the person giving the training.
Results: There were no differences between the two mother groups in terms of demographic characteristics (age, education, occupation etc.) and newborn characteristics (weight, gender) (p>0.05). The total LACTH score was found higher in the group that was trained by a midwife than in the group that was trained by a physician (p<0.05). An assessment of the LATCH sub-scores showed that the “holding the baby” score was similar in both groups (p=0.502), but the other subgroup scores were higher again in the group that was trained by a midwife (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The mothers who were trained in lactation by midwives were observed to be more successful in breastfeeding their babies than the mothers who were trained by a physician. Our opinion in this respect is that obstetricians should integrate trained midwives in breastfeeding education and in this way try to correct their deficiencies in this area.
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