Educating pediatric residents about breastfeeding: Evaluation of 3 time-efficient teaching strategies

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Human Lactation








breastfeeding; education; pediatric residents; standardized patients


© The Author(s) 2014. Background: Previously reported breastfeeding curricula for residents have combined different teaching methods, have focused on knowledge and attitudes, and have been time-intensive.Objective: This study aimed to evaluate 3 time-efficient breastfeeding curricula for effectiveness in regard to pediatric residents knowledge, confidence, and skills in managing a simulated breastfeeding scenario.Methods: First-year pediatric residents during their 4-week community hospital newborn nursery rotation were consecutively assigned to 1 of 3 groups. Group 1 shadowed an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) for 1 hour; group 2 watched a 25-minute case-based breastfeeding DVD; and group 3 observed a 3-hour prenatal parent breastfeeding class (CLS). Residents were assessed by (1) a pretest and posttest evaluating their breastfeeding knowledge and confidence, and (2) a clinical skills scenario managing a breastfeeding standardized patient (SP) .Results: Thirty-nine pediatric residents participated in the study (11 in IBCLC, 16 DVD, 12 CLS) over a 1-year period. All groups significantly improved their knowledge scores and confidence in managing breastfeeding problems, with the IBCLC group showing more improvement in knowledge than the other groups (P = .02) and a higher rating of their teaching method (P = .01). All groups performed well on the SP clinical skills scenario, with no significant difference between groups.Conclusion: All 3 teaching methods were time-efficient and produced important gains in knowledge and confidence, with residents in the IBCLC group demonstrating greatest improvement in knowledge and a higher rating of their teaching method. Our study provides support for 3 methods of teaching residents breastfeeding management and demonstrates that IBCLCs are well-received as interprofessional educators.