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Show your support for breastfeeding mothers

Published on August 03, 2017

Show your support for breastfeeding mothers

Kim Welvaert, BSN, RNC-MNN, CLC, IBCLC, RLC
NICU Lactation Nurse
St. Cloud Hospital

Online Nursing SupportWorld Breastfeeding Week is celebrated August 1-7 around the world to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, World Health Organization, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

This year’s theme is Sustaining Breastfeeding Together, inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the understanding that breastfeeding is a key element in achieving these goals.

Breastfeeding plays a significant role in not only the health of babies and mothers but the planet. Breastfeeding saves lives, money and time. We all benefit when a mother breastfeeds her baby.

How can you celebrate as a breastfeeding and lactating mother?

  1. Breastfeed and provide your baby with breast milk.
  2. If you are having any breastfeeding challenges, seek out support with a breastfeeding specialist. Find one at uscla.org.
  3. Ask breastfeeding and lactation questions. Take classes, like our Successful Breastfeeding class in St. Cloud and Monticello. Read books and research online.
  4. Share a #brelfie on social media to promote breastfeeding and decrease the stigma against public breastfeeding.
  5. Join a Global Big Latch On event. Learn more at biglatchon.org.
  6. Attend a peer-to-peer organization like Breastfeeding USA, La Leche League International or Baby Café USA. If not able to attend a meeting in person, many offer on-line support as well.
  7. Donate to a breastfeeding support organization like Breastfeeding USA, La Leche League International or UNICEF.
  8. Consider donating any extra milk to a milk bank. Find out more at www.hmbana.org. Your milk could save the life of a vulnerable child needing breast milk.
  9. Breastfeed your baby out in public. If you see other mothers breastfeeding their babies out in public, give them a high five or smile!
  10. Know your breastfeeding and lactation rights, whether you work outside the home or not. Educate yourself at www.usbreastfeeding.org.
  11. Evaluate what support do breastfeeding families have in your community and work place. Is it breastfeeding friendly? Is a lactation room available? Where can a mother go for questions and concerns?
  12. Know your online breastfeeding resources and access them, as needed. Here are a few examples:
  13. Share your breastfeeding story with others. Talk about your challenges and triumphs.
  14. Consider becoming a peer breastfeeding counsellor. Uplifting other mothers. Learn more at lovingsupport.fns.usda.gov.

How can you support a breastfeeding and lactating mother?

  • Family and friends play a role in a mother’s breastfeeding journey. Educate yourself on breastfeeding. The first step in helping a breastfeeding mother is to understand what she’s going through. Take a breastfeeding class together. Go online or read books on breastfeeding. Learn the basics of how breasts make milk, latch and position, and how to know baby is getting enough. Learn as much as you can or know where to get the information.
  • Encourage the mother with love to breastfeed and provide breast milk.
  • Nursing mothers often forget to take care of themselves. Be her care taker then she can focus her energy on baby. Make sure she has food and drink. Do the cooking and cleaning. Hold the baby so she can shower. Change diapers. Give the baby a bath. Guard against too many visitors which can be overwhelming especially in the early weeks. Look after older children. Fight off any pressure to separate mom and baby.
  • Find lactation help for her, if needed.
  • Be an advocate, support her when she breastfeeds baby in public.
  • If she is working and nursing, help wash and sterilize bottles and pump parts. Cheer her on as she strives to balance home and work.
  • Provide moral support, let her know you think she’s doing a great job.

If you do one thing on the list, you are contributing to World Breastfeeding Week. Keep calm and latch on!

CentraCare Health Offers the Following Lactation Support

St. Cloud Hospital Breastfeeding Help Line offers lactation resources seven days a week. Help line hours: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. After hours: leave a message and calls will be returned within 24 hours. Call 320-251-2700, ext. 52311.

CentraCare Clinic - Health Plaza Pediatrics: A board certified lactation consultant is available by phone for breastfeeding advice or in clinic for face-to-face consults. For more information or to set up an appointment, call 320-654-3610, ext 70268.

CentraCare Health — Long Prairie: Certified lactation consultants are available by phone or appointment for breastfeeding questions and problems for assistance in obtaining breast pumps. For more information, call 320-732-2131.

CentraCare Health — Monticello: 60-minute, one-on-one sessions with a certified lactation consultant are available. For more information or to schedule a session, call 763-271-2218.

CentraCare Health — Paynesville: Certified lactation consultants are available 24/7 by calling 320-243-3767.

CentraCare Health offers the “Successful Breastfeeding” class, designed for expectant and new parents interested in learning more about breastfeeding. Register for the class in St. Cloud or in Monticello.

Your health care provider is another resource for answering breastfeeding questions.

Health information accessed through www.centracare.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information on our web site and “For the Health of It” blog. However, this information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please contact your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

About the Author

Kimberly Welvaert, RNC-MNN, BSN, CLC, IBCLCKim Welvaert, BSN, RNC-MNN, CLC, IBCLC, RLC
NICU Lactation Nurse
St. Cloud Hospital

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