World Breastfeeding Week
Take action to support breastfeeding at home, at work and in childcare
August is Minnesota Breastfeeding Month, and August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week
What you can do to support breastfeeding
“Given the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of mothers and children, it is critical that we take action across the country to support breastfeeding.”The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, 2011
Tell her how proud you are of her.
Tell her this when the baby is 1 day old, 4 weeks old, 3 months old, 6 months old, 1 year old, 2 years old, and so on. Breastfeeding doesn't stop being the best thing for baby at a specific age.
Help her get knowledgeable support.
If she is struggling with breastfeeding, unless you have training in lactation, help guide her to someone that does have that training:
- Minnesota WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program and Breastfeeding Peer Counselors
- International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) - check with your hospital or clinic
- La Leche League meeting and online support
- Internet support sources:
Buy her a trusted book or take one out from the library.
- La Leche League’s "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding"
- "The Nursing Mother's Companion" by K. Huggins
Offer to help with everything BUT feeding.
- Change diapers
- Burp the baby
- Do laundry
- Cook meals
- Run errands
Find a solution to give nursing mothers time and space to express milk at work.
- Explore a variety of permanent, flexible, and even mobile space options to provide privacy.
- Manage schedules in creative ways so that women can have the time they need to express milk.
- Supporting nursing mothers at work has been found to bring businesses a positive return on investment.
Have a Breastfeeding Policy.
- Give all employees access to consistent support.
- Define the roles and responsibilities for both supervisors and employees.
Apply for Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace recognition.
Support mothers in their decision to continue breastfeeding.
- Talk about why breastfeeding is so good for babies.
- Tell parents you are happy to care for breastfed babies.
- Be willing to feed babies their mom’s expressed breast milk.
- Provide a quiet place for mothers to nurse their babies.
- Learn about proper breast milk storage and serving methods.
Listen with compassion and honor mothers’ breastfeeding goals.
- Develop a plan with baby’s parents to feed on demand, including breastfeeding by mom whenever possible.
Include fathers and other supportive relatives or partners in decisions related to the baby’s care.
- Encourage others to feel good about the role they play in supporting baby’s breastfeeding.
WIC, Family Health and Health Promotion have services that support breastfeeding. For more information about these services, contact Public Health at 952-563-8900.