Date Approved

11-3-2013

Date Posted

5-5-2014

Degree Type

Campus Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Health Sciences

Committee Member

John Carbone Ph.D., RD

Committee Member

Judith Brooks, Ph.D., RD

Abstract

Registered Dietitians (RDs) are “Nutrition Experts” and can play a vital role in breastfeeding support and education. Education and personal experience can have an influence on how RDs portray breastfeeding to their client. The goal of this study was to examine the perceptions and practices of RD members of the Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND). An electronic survey was distributed to all MAND members. The survey consisted of multiple choice and open-ended questions. Statistical analysis was completed with IBM SPSS Statistics 21. A significant inverse correlation (r2 =0.11, p = 0.020) was observed between the length of time since completing dietetics education and the belief that breastfeeding should end by the time a child can walk. Children can typically walk by one year of age which is the minimum age recommended for weaning. Accredited dietetic programs and professional continuing education should have a focus on breastfeeding. Further studies are warranted.

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