Breastfeeding does not just involve a mother and her baby, it involves all of the people in a new mother’s life who influence her decisions. This includes husbands, partners, family, co-workers, friends, professionals, and more. There is an increasing effort to encourage involvement from these support systems in the breastfeeding process so that more mothers will breastfeed for longer periods of time.
There are many resources available to new mothers in Johnston County who want to learn about breastfeeding. The Johnston Health Women’s Pavilion offers a breastfeeding class once a month at the Johnston Medical Mall in Smithfield. Our lactation consultants also offer bedside instruction to mothers while they are still in the hospital.
No matter what role you play in their life, you can be part of the breastfeeding support for new mothers.
Family and Friends
Those closest to a new mother such as a husband, partner, parent, or friend can usually provide the most consistent support. Support and encouragement from close friends and family can greatly influence a mother’s ambition to learn about breastfeeding prior to the birth, and to continue breastfeeding weeks and months after her baby is born.
Members of close social networks such as religious or community groups can also provide encouragement and support. Many women look to their peers in social groups for advice and guidance, especially while going through a new experience like childbirth. Mothers who have successfully breastfed in the past can give advice to help a new mother get started and continue to stay motivated.
Women who work while still in the breastfeeding stage of motherhood need support from their employer. More and more companies are making it easier for women to continue breastfeeding when they return to work. It’s important to provide a private place for mothers to pump during the workday, and a safe and convenient place to store breast milk. Companies with a daycare on site can provide extra support to new mothers by allowing them to take small breaks during the day to visit their baby.
Healthcare professionals play an important role in a mother’s decision to breastfeed. We trust our doctors to give us the best health advice, so encouragement to breastfeed from a doctor or nurse can make a big impact on a new mother. Breastfeeding and childbirth classes are a great way to provide support and encouragement to mothers before their baby arrives, which allows them time to learn the benefits of breastfeeding and make an educated decision. The days, weeks, and months following childbirth are also important times for caregivers to stay involved and encourage mothers to continue breastfeeding.
Click below to view our full infographic on benefits and techniques of breastfeeding. These facts and tips can help you show support for new mothers and encourage them to breastfeed.