Breastfeeding influences the infant’s oral development in many ways. Lactation care providers work closely with the mother-infant pair and may be the first to provide information on oral health. The purpose of this study is to assess lactation care provider’s perception, attitude and behavior on the relationship between breastfeeding and oral development; including oral malocclusion, breathing patterns, tethered oral tissues and dental caries. A survey sent to lactation care providers who are members of The United States Lactation Consultant Association. A total of 12 members participated in the survey. Of that, 11 were International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and 1 was a Non-IBCLC. The results determined that lactation care providers who responded have resources available to them that describe the relationship between breastfeeding and oral development. However, it was unclear iv whether they receive training on this during their initial training while earning their credentials. Lactation care providers discuss this relationship with their patients more than 50% of the time and state they feel comfortable discussing this relationship. This level of comfort could describe why lactation care providers refer to dental professionals less than 50% of the time. Although, lactation care providers perceive breastfeeding to positively influence the infant’s oral development.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Dental, Dental Hygiene, Lactation Consultant, IBCLC, Breast Milk
Gatlin, Robin. "Oral Development and Breastfeeding: An Assessment of the Lactation Care Provider Approach." (2019). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/dehy_etds/31