Overcoming Barriers to Breastfeeding

Making the decision to breastfeed your child is definitely something that requires sacrifice, and a lot of knowledge about how to do it.  There are a countless number of barriers that new mothers encounter, especially when it comes to breastfeeding.  Here are some tips on how to overcome those and make the best decision for your child.

 

Don’t know how? There are a variety of ways that you can learn how to properly breastfeed, including, attending an education class, reading educational materials, watching videos, or even asking other moms.  Don’t feel embarrassed to ask your healthcare provider, seeing as this can be difficult for a lot of mothers at first.  Some helpful tips to breastfeeding can be found here.

Lack of support? Some fathers actually feel apprehensive about the mother breastfeeding, because it creates such a close bond with the mother and the father may feel neglected.  In reality, breastfeeding allows for a close bond for all members of a family, and the fathers need to realize that.  Another idea is pumping the breast milk and allowing the father to feed the child as well.  Address other’s concerns and let them know that you need their support since breastfeeding can be difficult.  This support is especially needed from a woman’s partner.

Work and School? If you are a breastfeeding mother who has work and school responsibilities, you are not alone.  Did you know that many employers and schools have a place for you to pump milk for your baby?  Ask about it.  By making the choice to continue to breastfeed, your child will be more healthy and will allow you to be more productive because your child will have less sick days.  These are major benefits teachers and employers can understand.  If your school or employer needs more information about setting up a pumping room, the Utah Breastfeeding Coalition can help! (contact bfutah@yahoo.com)

Are you a young or teen mother? Making the decision to breastfeed may prove even harder for younger mothers.  This is a very personal decision that is ultimately up to the mother, but it is important to get as much information as you can to help you make the best decision.  Check out educational materials or talk to somebody to figure out if breastfeeding is right for you.

Looking for more one-on-one help with breastfeeding? Lactation consultants are available to help you through the process and to answer any questions that you may have regarding breastfeeding.  The International Lactation Consultant’s Association (ILCA) has a website that can help.  All you need to do is enter your zip code to get a list of certified lactation consultants in your area.

 

The information is out there, and so is the help and support that you need to make the best decision for your baby and your family.  You can do it!

March 13, 2011 at 12:54 am 1 comment

Utah Breastfeeding Coalition

Any questions about breastfeeding?  Not sure about who to contact?  The Utah Breastfeeding Coalition website is an excellent source of all kinds of information.  This includes not only question and answer, but active measures that the coalition is taking to protect, promote and support breastfeeding specifically in Utah.  This is a coalition that is actively working toward improving breastfeeding efforts.  They have public campaigns, and are constantly trying to get their voice heard through the community.

The Utah Breastfeeding Coalition was formed in 1992 and has continued to grow throughout the community.  If you or your organization also feels passionately about their cause, or would like to help out or support them, view a membership brochure and be sure to fill out an online application to get involved.

Just exploring theon the website is further proof that the Utah Breastfeeding Coalition is working hard and working with a lot of people to accomplish their goals.  A great coalition for a great cause.  Get involved!

March 11, 2011 at 10:34 pm Leave a comment

Breastfeeding Goals Not Being Met

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBVDZ7oyDWs

Healthy People 2010 has very specific goals set for the amount of children that should ever have breastfed, have been breastfed for up to six months, as well as up to one year.  These goals demonstrate just how important it is to developing children for mother to choose to breastfeed their infants.  In all of the goal areas, the United States average is below the levels that we would like to achieve.

Utah, however differs from other states in that it has much higher breastfeeding initiation and duration compared with many of the other states.  In fact, Utah meets and exceeds the Healthy People 2010 goal of initiating breastfeeding with an 87.7%.  While this is something to celebrate, the numbers tend to decline for those breastfeeding at the 6 month and 1 year mark (while still staying above the national average).  The question is, why?

Utah PRAMS data indicates that women choose not to breastfeed for reasons such as embarrassment, an unsupportive environment, or for more reasons concerning the self such as going back to work or school, wanting their bodies to themselves, and being tied down.  An astounding number also reported that they did not like breastfeeding.  In order to Utah to meet the Healthy People 2010 goals, and continue to stay above average for the population we have to overcome these barriers and make the benefits of breastfeeding overcome the growing number of costs for women living busy lives.

The first step is starting early.  When habits are developed early they are more likely to stick, and according to the PRAMS data only 76.3% of mothers reported that their health care provider discussed breastfeeding with them.  Why not??  Education is critical to increasing breastfeeding rates, and it starts with doctors providing that information.  That first step needs to be changed and regularly implemented not only in Utah, but across the country if Healthy People 2010 wants to meet their goals.

March 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm 3 comments

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