Physicians are ill-prepared to instruct and counsel breastfeeding mothers, according to a study reported in the Feb. 8 Journal of the American Medical Association.

In a national, random sample of 3,115 residents and 1,920 practicing physicians in pediatrics, family medicine and obstetrics/gynecology, yielding a 68 percent response rate, 90 percent endorsed breastfeeding. Only 50 percent felt confident about counseling. All specialties had poor knowledge of breastfeeding benefits and clinical management. Seventy percent of pediatricians thought they had received "less than adequate" or "no" breastfeeding-support preparation.

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