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Promotion of breastfeeding by dental teams: A survey of early career dentists

Polglass, Louisa; Leonardi-Bee, Jo; Morris, Alexander; Murray, Rachael


Louisa Polglass

Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology

Alexander Morris


Breastfeeding provides a range of positive health benefits for both mother and baby. Due to maternal exemption of dental charges, dentists have the access and opportunity to provide information to expectant and nursing mothers, and are in an optimal position to positively influence breastfeeding behaviour. A cross-sectional survey of early career dentists in the East Midlands was conducted. The survey questionnaire assessed levels of confidence, knowledge and practice regarding breastfeeding. Barriers identified in supporting and encouraging breastfeeding were lack of knowledge (81%; n=57), lack of confidence (63%; n=44) and lack of time (52%; n=36). Approximately two thirds reported they had never received training and a majority felt they would benefit from this (86%; n=60). Early career dentists in the East Midlands reported limited knowledge and a lack of confidence in the delivery of breastfeeding advice. Wider incorporation of training into undergraduate and postgraduate programmes could be considered, which may improve breastfeeding rates.


Polglass, L., Leonardi-Bee, J., Morris, A., & Murray, R. (2019). Promotion of breastfeeding by dental teams: A survey of early career dentists. Journal of Health Visiting, 7(1), 24-29. doi:10.12968/johv.2019.7.1.24

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 17, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 22, 2019
Publication Date Jan 22, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 23, 2019
Journal Journal of Health Visiting
Print ISSN 2050-8719
Electronic ISSN 2052-2908
Publisher Mark Allen Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 24-29
Public URL
Publisher URL


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