Breast-feeding: Time to Teach What We Preach

Thomas M. Ball, MD
JAMA. 1993;270(7):830. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510070052026.
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To the Editor.  —I thank Freed1 for his review of our dismal support of breast-feeding. Although I agree with his call for improved education of physicians to solve problems with breast-feeding, I do not feel that physicians will ever "provide effective counseling and support to increase the incidence and duration of breast-feeding." Our involvement in this area should be limited to supporting lactation consultants, lay groups such as the La Leche League, and other community-based programs, especially prenatally, and decreasing interventions that lead to iatrogenic decrease in breast-feeding. Primary care physicians cannot be all things to all people— this is one area we'd be better off leaving to others.The study by Kistin et al2 that Freed refers to demonstrated the effect of a 15-minute to 30-minute prenatal visit, concerning breast-feeding issues only, by one of the authors with women prior to the 30th week of gestation. There


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