Physician mothers: An unlikely high risk group-call for action

Maryam Sattari, David Levine, Janet R. Serwint

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Breastfeeding rates have been improving in the United States. However, current rates, especially those of exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding duration, are still below the Healthy People 2010 objectives. Furthermore, gaps in breastfeeding rates continue to exist among different racial and socioeconomic groups. Physician mothers' breastfeeding behavior has been studied because it impacts their anticipatory guidance to their patients, which in turn influences patients' breastfeeding initiation and continuation. In this paper, we review available literature regarding breastfeeding among female physicians in the United States. The current data suggest that female physicians are initiating breastfeeding more often than the general population but their continuation rates are lower. In other words, working as a physician might be a newly identified maternal characteristic associated with low breastfeeding maintenance rates. We also review possible factors that might affect breastfeeding decisions and behaviors of physician mothers. Once modifiable factors are further identified, programs can be suggested and implemented to improve breastfeeding continuation in this newly identified high-risk group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-39
Number of pages5
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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