Hospital Education in Lactation Practices (Project HELP): Does Clinician Education Affect Breastfeeding Initiation and Exclusivity in the Hospital?

Xena Grossman, Jana Chaudhuri, Lori Feldman-Winter, Jessica Abrams, Kimberly Niles Newton, Barbara L. Philipp, Anne Merewood
BIRTH 36:1 March 2009

Background: A woman’s decision to breastfeed may be influenced by her health care practitioners, but breastfeeding knowledge among clinicians is often lacking. Project HELP (Hospital Education in Lactation Practices) was an intensive education program designed to increase breastfeeding knowledge among health care practitioners. The purpose of this study was to determine whether educating practitioners affected breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity rates at hospitals with low breastfeeding rates.

Results: Combining data from all hospitals, breastfeeding initiation increased postintervention from 58.5 to 64.7 percent (p = 0.02). An overall increase in exclusive breastfeeding rates was not statistically significant. In multivariate logistic regression for all hospitals combined, infants born postintervention were significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding than infants born preintervention (adjusted OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.03–1.69).

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