The Impact of Community Health Professional Contact Postpartum on Breastfeeding at 3 Months: A Cross-Sectional Retrospective Study
Breastmilk and breastfeeding are known to have significant advantages and benefits over the use of artificial formula for infants and young children[1-4]. These benefits are reflected in the increased costs related to preventable illnesses as well as the actual costs of artificial formulas. Both the World Health Organization and the National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, with the gradual introduction of appropriate, complementary foods and continuing to breastfeed for two or more years. Pregnant and breastfeeding women seek support from a variety of sources, and in particular, health professionals. The medical practitioner or general practitioner (GP) is commonly the first health professional women encounter during pregnancy. The GP will continue to provide care for mother and then mother and baby after discharge from hospital. This literature review seeks to determine what is known about medical practitioners’ attitudes to and levels of knowledge about, breastfeeding and human lactation. The review also considers how they initially learn and then maintain their knowledge once in general practice.