Title : Improving standardization of breastfeeding education for patients in a high-risk obstetrical clinic
Purpose: Exclusive breastfeeding rates of mothers are not where they should be globally or locally. This project aimed to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates of patients through prenatal breastfeeding education for an at-risk population in New York.
Methodology: A retrospective electronic medical chart review was completed by the project leader four months prior to initiation of prenatal breastfeeding education to patients. All staff in the office was given breastfeeding education and training found on the New York Department of Health breastfeeding website. The staff was then asked to discuss and document in the EMR breastfeeding education at least once in the third trimester in the prenatal period. After the four-month implementation period is completed, charts were again reviewed retrospectively by the project leader to assess rates of breastfeeding and if the education was being provided to patients.
Results: The exclusive breastfeeding rates of patients in the office did not increase after implementation of prenatal breastfeeding education. Exclusive breastfeeding rates in office prior to implementation of prenatal education was 18% compared to 0% after implementation. It was also noted that 36.8 % of eligible patients in the office were not receiving prenatal breastfeeding education in the third trimester as per protocol.
Implications for Practice: Prenatal breastfeeding education alone does not appear to be enough to increase breastfeeding rates in patients, but there is value in pursuing additional research regarding the role of prenatal providers to diminish use of formula by patients.
Keywords: prenatal, breastfeeding education, healthcare providers, Hispanic