Increasing awareness of the connection between breastfeeding and mental health through an educational session for healthcare providers
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Memorial University of Newfoundland
Submission date: 2022-02-24
Acceptance date: 2022-08-14
Online publication date: 2023-03-26
Publication date: 2023-03-22
Corresponding author
Catherine Margaret Hickey   

Memorial University of Newfoundland
Arch Psych Psych 2023;25(1):63-68
Aim of the study:
The relationship between breastfeeding and mental health is complex and complicated by various confounding factors. Although no direct causative link has been established, several trends have arisen in the literature. The aim of this study was to see if an educational session on these trends could increase awareness of how breastfeeding affects mental health in women. Specifically, we aimed to see if this session could increase awareness in a group of clinicians (nurses, physicians, and lactation consultants) who provide care in the peripartum.

Subject or material and methods:
A 45-minute education session was offered to health care providers for members of this population. The goal of this session was to increase awareness of how breastfeeding impacts mental health and how, when it is going well, it can positively affect mood. The session also emphasized the importance of support in the perinatal period.

The session was evaluated for changes in awareness and knowledge and perceived usefulness and relevance via a short pre-and post- 8 question survey. There were significant differences in the post answers for Questions 1-5 compared to the pre- answers.

These particular questions dealt with awareness and perceived relevance of the topic, the understanding of the complexity of the topic, perceived knowledge of the topic, and training on the topic.

These findings suggest that an educational session may improve awareness, knowledge levels, and perceived importance of this topic.

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