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Many Ob-Gyn Textbooks Lack Good Info on Breast-Feeding
Date:5/6/2008

That could mean the wrong advice getting passed on to new moms, experts say

TUESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors coaching new nursing mothers will find little practical advice to share from some of the classic obstetrics textbooks, a new study suggests.

Some of the texts omit key information for solving breast-feeding problems and others are inaccurate about the key steps involved, according to a study presented at this week's annual meeting of the Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in New Orleans.

Three of these bibles of obstetrics are not as "up-to-date or nearly as complete as they should be," contended study researcher Dr. Tony Ogburn, director of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico.

Ogburn believes that breast-feeding has been a neglected problem for some time, because some physicians have passed the buck -- each seeing it as the provenance of another physician specialty, or of nurses who specialize as lactation consultants.

While doctors in urban areas may be able to defer to lactation consultants, those who have a broader scope of practice in rural areas will miss the training they need on breast-feeding, added Dr. Adam Aponte, chair of pediatrics and ambulatory care at Manhattan's North General Hospital. He was not involved in the new research.

Breast-feeding is not as easy as people think and "needs a lot of encouragement and support early on," he added, and "with frustration, mothers can switch very quickly to the bottle."

On the other hand, gentle and accurate instruction about how to hold the baby to the breast properly can reduce some of the discomfort some nursing mothers experience, Aponte said.

The new review covered what the authors called "the five most popular obstetrics and gynecology textbooks based on sales." Ogburn gave two of the textbooks in the study -- the 2003 edition of Maternal-Feta
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