Too few minority women breastfeed - can ob/gyns change their minds?

-Obstetricians and gynecologists have a unique opportunity to educate and encourage minority women to nurse their infants to help reduce persistent racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding. As part of prenatal care, ob/gyns should promote the known health benefits of breastfeeding and help identify potential barriers their minority patients may face, according to an article in Breastfeeding Medicine, the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Breastfeeding Medicine website until May 14, 2015.

Coauthors Katherine Jones, Michael Power, PhD, John Queenan, and Jay Schulkin, PhD, from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American University, and Georgetown University, Washington, DC, present data from a comprehensive literature review demonstrating lower rates of breastfeeding initiation and continuation for some racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. compared to White women. By understanding the cultural and social factors and the inadequacies of the healthcare system that may affect a minority woman’s decision to breastfeed and her attitudes toward nursing, ob/gyns may be better able to help their patients overcome obstacles to nursing.

In the article “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding,” the authors provide information such as what programs and techniques can positively impact these rates and they urge ob/gyns to use these data to support breastfeeding in their clinical practices and in public policy.

“The persistent disparities cast shame on our healthcare system, a system that continues to short change that part of our population that is most in need of the benefits of breastfeeding,” says Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine. “Hopefully clinicians will incorporate the information in this article into their daily activities and reverse this negative situation.”


About the Journal

Too few minority women breastfeed - can ob/gyns change their minds? Breastfeeding Medicine, the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, is an authoritative, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published 10 times per year in print and online. The Journal publishes original scientific papers, reviews, and case studies on a broad spectrum of topics in lactation medicine. It presents evidence-based research advances and explores the immediate and long-term outcomes of breastfeeding, including the epidemiologic, physiologic, and psychological benefits of breastfeeding. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Breastfeeding Medicine website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Journal of Women’s Health, Childhood Obesity, and Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.


Kathryn Ryan

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Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

  Breastfeeding Medicine

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