Clin Exp Pediatr.  2022 Nov;65(11):540-546. 10.3345/cep.2022.00311.

Survey of Korean pediatrician’s perceptions of barriers to and improvements in breastfeeding

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Nowon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Pediatrics, Inje University Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 5Department of Pediatrics, Hanyang Univerisity Seoul Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 6Department of Pediatrics, Asan Medical Center, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 7Department of Pediatrics, Sungae Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 8Department of Pediatrics, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 9Department of Pediatrics, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 10Department of Pediatrics, Bucheon St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Korea
  • 11Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University-Seoul Metropolitan Government Borame Medical Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 12Department of Pediatrics, Gangdong Kyung Hee University Hospital, Kyung Hee University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 13Department of Pediatrics, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Ansan, Korea
  • 14Department of Pediatrics, Korea University Anam Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Although the benefits of breastfeeding are broadly acknowledged with the efforts of the government and several medical societies, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding through 6 months is lower in Korea than in developed countries. Purpose: This study aimed to investigate pediatricians’ perceptions of breastfeeding barriers and the current breastfeeding counseling environment and propose government policies to encourage breastfeeding in Korea.
Fourteen survey questions were developed during meetings of Korean Society of Breastfeeding Medicine experts. The Korean Pediatric Society emailed a structured questionnaire to domestic pediatricians registered as official members of the Korean Pediatric Society on May 4, 2021, and June 3, 2021. This study examined the survey responses received from 168 pediatricians.
The 168 respondents included 62 professors, 53 paid doctors, and 53 private physicians. Breastfeeding was recommended by 146 Korean pediatricians (86.9%). However, only 99 responders (59%) currently provide breastfeeding counseling in hospitals. Most respondents stated providing less than 15 minutes of breastfeeding counseling time in the clinic. Moreover, 89.88% of the respondents responded that they would participate in breastfeeding counseling education if an appropriate breastfeeding counseling program was newly established.
This study showed that, although Korean pediatricians had a positive attitude toward breastfeeding, limited counseling was provided for parents. Along with policy support to improve the medical environment through the establishment of an appropriate breastfeeding counseling program, high-quality counseling and an increased breastfeeding rate are expected.


Breastfeeding; Surveys and questionnaires; Pediatricians; Risk factors
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