Five ways to get breastfeeding off to a great start

1. Knowledge

It is true that knowledge is power, in this case the more you know ahead of delivery more power to you mama. No-one can predict their labor and delivery, however it is called labor for a reason, and many are long and well, just plain exhausting. Who has the brain power to pay attention to learning about breastfeeding after L&D! This is why pre-natal breastfeeding education is so important, even though you don’t yet have the baby, knowing a few basic principles and skills ahead of your long delivery, sure makes it easy to know what to do once the baby arrives! You got this. Come to my prenatal class and I’ll pass on information that will help set you up for success to feed and thrive!

2. Support during your recovery

Having great support while you recover from your long labor and delivery is key. I believe in mothering the mother while she recovers. Some women love their privacy, and that is fine, there’s not crystal ball to know what things will actually be like so I recommend keeping options open. Partners may be present for a few days, and need to return to work. However, there can be one or two trusted family members, such as Grandma, Aunties, cousins, or friends that will bring you a bowl of soup, wash your dishes, clean your floor, bring you a meal or simply cuddle baby while you take a shower.

3. Health care provider knowledge

New parents trust health care providers that we know what is right to help guide them to meet their goals. It’s important for the health care provider to have evidenced based knowledge and information to pass on to clients entrusted in their care. Being honest with patients providing the right information, and know where to get the answers is important. Parents want and deserve accurate information.

4. Health care provider skills

How we physically impact and direct feeding is important because parents go home and copy what they see health care providers handle their baby or feeding eqipment, or how we instructed them to do a thing. Whether it is coaching a mom on how to position her baby, or showing parents how to bottle feed their preemie, caregivers are always learning skills from health care providers.

5. Hospital policies

Hospitals that have the Global criteria practices embedded into their policies have so much going for them in helping breastfeeding get off on to a good start, and parents can see and feel this in the care they receive. In response the increased numbers of infant mortality and declining maternal health that were directly related to the declining breastfeeding rates world wide, the WHO and UNICEF implemented the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative to increase the number of infants who are breastfed worldwide. As a direct result there is increased infant survival rates. Breastfeeding is important to public health and saves health care dollars. Steps 3 and 4 above are at the heart of the BFHI.

Maxine Scringer-Wilkes

Exemplary clinical and leadership abilities demonstrated in the community, hospital and health care industry. Proficient and skilled at nursing education, community health, development of patient and staff education, and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and NRP. Masters of Nursing focused in Maternal/Child Health Nursing.