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Medical Support

October 2014

A challenge many Facilitators face is involving the medical staff in your Baby Friendly Initiatives, specifically encouraging them to complete their education.

Doctors are busy people. Knowing WHY they should use their valuable time to complete the education is the first step to achieve. Then HOW it can be achieved in the most time-efficient manner while maintaining relevance to them is your next step.

Why:
A sound knowledge of breastfeeding management is important for doctors because parents assume they will have that knowledge and trust their guidance. Also, some breastfeeding issues may be so complex that a multidisciplinary approach is needed, and input from a medical professional who is well versed in lactation issues will be invaluable.

How:
When developing programs for doctors a ‘needs assessment’ will prevent time-wasting. Following one such assessment Brodribb (2012) published an educational framework for medical staff you may find useful to peruse. (Note: ES03 Breastfeeding Essentials for Doctors was developed by Dr Brodribb). However all doctors have different needs and you may find that simply observing their behaviors or noting their patient outcomes could give you information that will allow you to guide a doctor to resources specific to their needs. (Review the list of CE lectures we provide - many of them are recorded by doctors and the information is directly relevant to their practice.)

Doctors often learn best from other doctors, being able to relate more closely to each other’s experiences. Practice guidelines developed by your national paediatric society will be very influential. Go to their website and see what is available there for you to share.

Another excellent resource is the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine website. The Academy comprises doctors from 50 countries. They have developed many evidence-based protocols on a wide range of breastfeeding issues all freely available on their website. Many of these are referenced throughout Breastfeeding Essentials.

Even better though would be to encourage some of your medical staff to join the Academy. They will have access to doctors from all over the world who will support them in their learning and practices via their listserv.

Share the website: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and remember to follow-up with encouragement to join.

Have a great month,

Denise

Denise Fisher, AM, MMP, IBCLC
Director, Step2 Education
 

1. Brodribb WE. 2012. Breastfeeding--a framework for educating the primary care medical workforce. Breastfeed Rev. 2012 Jul;20(2):25-30

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