Do Consumer Infant Feeding Publications and Products Available in Physicians' Offices Protect, Promote, and Support Breastfeeding?
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The purpose of this study was to determine if consumer infant feeding publications and products distributed by physicians' offices protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. A total of 127 physician office practices completed a mailed questionnaire that measured the types of print and nonprint materials available and policies and practices regarding these resources. Commercially produced pamphlets were available in 114 (90%) of the offices surveyed, and were twice as likely to be routinely distributed as pamphlets from nonprofit agencies and government. Many publications contained outdated recommendations about breastfeeding; the most accurate publications were available in only 29 (23%) of practices surveyed. Magazines contravening the WHO Code were widely available (91 offices; 72%) and routinely distributed (58 offices; 46%). One hundred one offices (80%) accepted free formula and 48 (38%) routinely distributed it. Few offices had a policy (n = 25; 20%) or criteria (n = 17; 13%) for selecting infant feeding resources. Those with policies were less likely to distribute commercial pamphlets. In the majority of offices surveyed, physicians' offices accepted and routinely distributed publications and products which do not "protect, promote, and support" breastfeeding. Offices are encouraged to have policies guiding the distribution of infant feeding materials.
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