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cute babies. cute babies. cute babies. Strength in Number, Creating one Breastfeeding Community

Overview of the Physician Education Initiative 2007-2011

The Physician Education Initiative that was active between 2007 and 2011 was developed to provide breastfeeding education to Chicago area physicians through in-services at local physicians’ offices. Local Lactation Consultants, La Leche League Leaders, and others who support breastfeeding mothers and infants are invited to participate in this program as presenters of these in-services. These presentations were done to increase physicians’ breastfeeding knowledge, provide face-to-face contact with breastfeeding advocates and professionals to whom they can refer mothers with problems and questions, and build relationships among those providing care and support to breastfeeding mothers and infants as we work toward making breastfeeding the norm in our community.

Since its inception in 2007, this initiative reached 10 physician practices and over 100 individuals. Overwhelmingly, the presentations were well received. Presenters reported that their contact with physician offices continued after the presentation with an increase in referrals to the breastfeeding community and greater awareness by the physician groups of breastfeeding resources that are available to them.

What works best?

We have found that an informal lunch and learn format works well for these in-services, as it lends itself to discussion and sharing. CABC funds were earmarked to help reimburse the cost of providing lunch or refreshments at presentations. Presenters were eligible to receive up to $75.00 in reimbursement for food/refreshments provided. You will find information below about how you can get started and become part of our effort to increase the scope of this initiative.

Ready to Use Presentation Materials

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Power Point presentation Breastfeeding Support and Promotion Speaker's Kit, provides a ready-made program on which to base CABC Physician Education Initiative presentations. The presentation can be downloaded from:

Networking Strategies

You very likely know of pediatric practices in your area that could use some education. Providing this information, in addition to providing desperately needed physician education, can be an effective tool for marketing your services and may benefit your agency or business as well as the breastfeeding families that you serve.

We encourage doing Physician Education presentations in teams. An LC or other knowledgeable breastfeeding advocate and a LLL Leader may team up to speak at an in-service, ideally pairing an experienced speaker with a newer speaker. Presenting as a a team can have the following benefits:
1) Give newer presenters practice with more experienced mentors.
2) Provide an opportunity for LC, LLL Leader or other breastfeeding advocate to describe their services and how they differ. (Contact information for both the LC and LLL may be left at the MDs’ office.)
3) Build collaboration between LCs and LLL leaders as well as between pediatric offices and the larger breastfeeding community.

The CABC is there for encouragement and support

We are available to answer any questions you may have about the ins and outs of doing a presentation and will give you support as you go through the process of contacting a physician group, planning your talk, planning appropriate food and refreshments for the group, or obtaining equipment you need.

See Steps to Getting Started

The steps to getting started planning a talk are:
1) Choose one or more pediatric practices in your area and extend an invitation to give an hour-long in-service to its staff. The office manager can be helpful in scheduling a talk.
2) Schedule one or more of these in-services during the remainder of 2010.
3) Use the AAP’s Power Point presentation on breastfeeding as the basis for your talks. This is a long presentation, but you can choose among its sections based on the interests of the pediatric office.

As our CABC slogan says, there is “strength in numbers.” By joining together for this initiative, we can have an impact that is greater than the sum of our individual efforts. Help us make Chicago the breastfeeding-friendly city we all want it to be. We look forward to hearing from you!

Contact the Physician Education Committee (physicianed@chicagoareabfc.org)