Breastfeeding knowledge of hospital staff in rural maternity units in Ireland.

G. E. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge of breastfeeding is necessary for health workers to adequately assist breastfeeding mothers. This paper examines the level of knowledge concerning breastfeeding in three rural maternity units in Ireland. Health workers responding to a self-report questionnaire felt that they had adequate knowledge, but their answers to the questions did not always bear this out. Health workers felt more staff training in breastfeeding would help to improve breastfeeding rates. Thirty-four percent of respondents had never attended continuing education on infant feeding topics. Manufacturers of artificial infant formula were the main source of continuing education information. The knowledge level of obstetricians did not appear to affect breastfeeding rates. Pediatricians' breastfeeding knowledge was good, but they had little input in the care of healthy babies. Rising breastfeeding rates were found in the unit where midwives were more recently qualified and had higher knowledge scores. The need exists for more breastfeeding education in all the units examined, ideally provided by a staff member with current lactation training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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