Nurses and midwives are critical in the delivery of essential maternal and newborn health services and are critical in strengthening the health system. Comprehensive breastfeeding education should be provided to all midwives to scale up access to high-quality care and improve maternal and child health. (WHO Strengthening quality midwifery education) As the demand for timely and skilled breastfeeding support from midwives grows, educators will need time and cost effective methods for training. A high-fidelity breastfeeding simulator like the Lactation Simulation Model may be able to provide comprehensive training in clinical lactation to midwives around the globe.
Perinatal care providers such as OBGYN and family medicine physicians are essential to promoting breastfeeding. Physician residents should learn to help a woman initiate breastfeeding, manage issues with breastfeeding, evaluate positioning and attachment of the infant, and assist with hand expression of colostrum.
Dr. Suzanne Hetzel Campbell, Associate Professor, Applied Science, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
Applying experiential learning for pre-licensure health professional students and practitioners in the area of lactation education support shows future potential for enhanced outcomes.
Anne Drover, Amanda Pendergast - Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada
This innovative workshop made use of simulation based medical education techniques to ensure a high level of interactivity and hands‐on learning. Participants were overwhelmingly positive about the use of the LiquidGoldConcept Lactation Simulation Model, 3D breast models, Gynecologic Teaching Associates and Recruited mother/baby pairs to enhance learning.
Lifelike simulation models are used for training and education of medical professionals. Realistic medical simulators have been used in teaching breast examinations, CPR, intubation, and in birthing simulations. Breast models, specifically, have been used successfully to teach about physical examinations of the breast as it pertains to breast cancer, wide local excisions of breast cancer, and lactation education.
Physicians and nurses are expected to support breastfeeding mothers. However, there is a lack of standardized breastfeeding education throughout training programs and hospitals. As a result, providers lack the necessary confidence and skills to guide mothers throughout the breastfeeding experience. The hands-on nature of breastfeeding management demands the implementation of application-based learning tools to improve skills retention and patient breastfeeding outcomes.
Low milk production is one of the main reasons for premature breastfeeding cessation. Smartphone apps have the potential to assist mothers with promoting, interpreting, tracking, or learning about milk production. It is unknown whether breastfeeding apps contain high-quality, engaging, and diverse content and features that could be used by mothers to increase their breastfeeding self-efficacy and answer their questions about milk production.
Traditional breast simulators are not realistic and cannot provide comprehensive lactation training. LiquidGoldConcept (LGC) developed the Lactation Simulation Models (LSMs) to teach health students and providers how to manage common breastfeeding issues. Until this study, the breast models for breastfeeding education have not been systematically validated by breastfeeding medicine experts.