November 21, 2017 November 21, 2017

Tips on How to Support a Breastfeeding Woman

For some, the decision to breastfeed or not is a completely autonomous one. For others, they may be up against familial, cultural, or logistical barriers which make it difficult to feed her child in the way she feels is right for her and her baby.  For this reason, and so many others, it is important for women to feel supported in their decisions on breastfeeding.

Supporting a woman's right to breastfeed or not can be as simple as listening when a friend, sister, cousin, co-worker needs an ear or someone to commiserate with. Or it can be as proactive as petitioning for a change in laws to protect breastfeeding mothers.

And you don't need to be a woman to support breastfeeding women, either. Women who have the support of their partners to nurse or bottle feed have a much greater chance of meeting their individual goals. That goes for the family and friends in a woman's life, as well as the average passer-by. Not judging a mother for formula feeding or asking a mother to leave the room if she is going to breastfeed outside of her home are key steps in supporting a woman's right to choose how she feeds her children. 

Recognizing that societal pressures are often at the root of mothers' issues with success in breastfeeding, Best for Babes has created "Booby Traps" to help bring awareness to these issues. These traps are either institutional (no lactation consultant coverage through insurance, breastfeeding support not really covered in childbirth prep class) or cultural (no one in your family or group of friends breastfeeds, or they all do and you're not planning to) and can come from some unlikely sources (strangers making rude comments on the subway).

"Your healthy, full-term baby is supplemented in the hospital with formula, quite possibly against your express wishes, whether or not there is any medical indication.   This happens in 25% of hospitals and is one of the reasons the CDC determined that the average score of hospitals on breastfeeding support is a D.   Yes, a D!  Imagine if that was the score for how hospitals handle heart attacks, or breast cancer!"  Best for Babes

Beyond just noting the possible pitfalls of sucessful breastfeeding, Best for Babes also made a checklist for expecting and new mamas so they are informed and prepared to counter the "Booby Traps" and nurse sucessfully. There is also a page dedicated to women who don't plan on breastfeeding and how they can face their fears about any possible backlash and feel supported in their decision.

Make sure to read the "Booby Traps" and discuss your hopes, fears, and concerns about breastfeeding or formula feeding with someone you trust.