The Support Breastfeeding Moms Need
August 04, 2016
By: Teri Weidner-Eichstadt, RN
Breastfeeding provides health benefits to both mom and baby. However, many mothers feel ostracized by society for breastfeeding their child anywhere other than behind closed doors. In honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Huron Regional Medical Center wants to provide some tips for helping to normalize breastfeeding in our community. With support from their families, friends and communities, mothers are more likely to be able to reach their breastfeeding goals, helping to create a healthier community and future generations.
Health organizations agree that breast milk should be the only source of nutrition for a child within their first six months of life. To help strengthen the mother’s decision to breastfeed, family and friends’ support is crucial. Family members need up-to-date information so they can help the mother be successful with breastfeeding. By becoming educated of the importance of breastmilk, they can talk with the new mom and ask her how they can support her in her new journey.
It’s easy for fathers to take a backseat when it comes to the nutrition of his child. Fathers need to keep in mind the great deal of time it takes to nurse a child. Words of encouragement for the new mother can help keep her on the breastfeeding path, offering to help with household chores so your partner can take a nap, or coming to her defense when someone questions her reason for breastfeeding are just a few of the ways fathers can play an integral part in the breastfeeding process.
Employers can also make a great impact. By allowing mothers to breastfeed the baby during the workday, it enables her to combine work with caring for her child. To support this, employers could permit flexible hours or remote working. Another approach could be providing daycare on site, which has the mother in the office during business hours but allows her to nurture her child conveniently. If nursing the baby at work isn’t feasible, creating an area and allowing moms time to pump is also very beneficial.
In July 2015, a law in South Dakota was instated that specifically allows mothers to nurse in any private or public place, as long as she is obeying other state or local laws. A nursing mom shouldn’t have to be confined to her home to nurse. This law helps to support nursing moms to enjoy her kids and take part in the community.
Normalizing breastfeeding will not only benefit the child’s health throughout their life, but it will allow mothers to feel more comfortable with the completely natural process.
The Huron community offers a Breastfeeding Support Group to area mothers that is peer based and organized by Amy Mattke, RN, international board-certified lactation consultant. The group meets the first Tuesday of the month at Women’s Wellness Center. The support group can be found on Facebook.
If you’re looking for information regarding breastfeeding or simply have questions, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Huron Regional Medical Center. For more information or questions, please call (605) 353-6251.
Sources: womenshealth.gov, cdc.org, healthychildren.org,The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding
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