Thanks for joining us on this breastfeeding journey with Marian*. This is #4 of 4 posts in this mini-series. As you may remember from the first post Introducing Marian and Kirat of this series, we interviewed a second-time mom and chronicled her breastfeeding journey. Continue reading to learn about her experiences with support systems.
A big part of even choosing whether or not to breastfeed depends on the mother’s support system. The support system can come in a lot of different shapes and from a lot of different sources. Support is important to breastfeeding success since, a lot of the time, parents run into complications that are unexpected and overwhelming. These support systems keep moms calm in the face of obstacles and provide them with information and empathy that can make breastfeeding easier.
During our first conversation, Marian talked about her support system during her first time breastfeeding her daughter, Diana*. As a new mom, Marian looked to her family and her friends for guidance and support. Marian found that though her mother didn’t offer any strong memories of her own breastfeeding experience, it was still comforting to have her mother around to help in Marian’s determination to breastfeed.
In addition to having support from her mother, Marian’s husband provided support by accompanying her to New-Parent classes at a local hospital. There, Marian received the largest amount of information about breastfeeding. While the classes focused primarily on instructions, breastfeeding techniques and all the warm and fuzzies of breastfeeding, the instructors neglected to describe the potential difficulties of breastfeeding.
“My big takeaway from the class was that breastfeeding was natural and therefore should come easily”
During her first prenatal class, Marian learned about latch techniques and about the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby. What she didn’t learn was that many women also experience difficulties with breastfeeding.
“I would liked to have known that I needed to seek more education [about breastfeeding]”
Marian experienced difficulties with feeding both of her babies breast milk. These barriers could have been eased and/or eliminated with the intervention from either the pediatrician or family doctor at any of Marian’s follow up visits. Although many practitioners generally promote breastfeeding, many do not possess the critical technical skills necessary to appropriately identify or manage specific breastfeeding problems.1-5 This is due the lack of breastfeeding education and tools provided in residency or schooling programs.1-5 LiquidGoldConcept hopes to give providers the tools and education that they need to effectively communicate and support families with their decision to breastfeed. In the meantime, check out two of our products. MomKit, will help families develop and track breastfeeding goals, provide practical breast massage and expression how-to-videos, and even provide definitions to some of those tricky breastfeeding terms. The Lactation Simulation Model can be used as a tool to give practitioners and families the confidence and support they need to successfully breastfeed.
Thank you for joining us on this journey with Marian and her family. We hope that sharing her story has assisted you and your family. Stay tuned for the next blog series, Provider Interviews, where we interview providers about their experience with breastfeeding education and training.
Hope this helps,
Written by Kirat Sandhu
Edited by Ileisha Sanders, mother of 2
*Names changed to protect privacy
1 Herbert, R., Coleman, T., & Britton, J. (2005). UK general practitioners’ beliefs, attitudes, and reported prescribing of nicotine replacement therapy in pregnancy. Nicotine & tobacco research, 7(4), 541-546.
2 Freed, G. L., Clark, S. J., Sorenson, J., Lohr, J. A., Cefalo, R., & Curtis, P. (1995). National assessment of physicians’ breast-feeding knowledge, attitudes, training, and experience. Jama, 273(6), 472-476.
3 Freed, G. L., Clark, S. J., Lohr, J. A., & Sorenson, J. R. (1995). Pediatrician involvement in breast-feeding promotion: a national study of residents and practitioners. Pediatrics, 96(3), 490-494.
4 Williams, E. L., & Hammer, L. D. (1995). Breastfeeding attitudes and knowledge of pediatricians-in-training. American journal of preventive medicine.
5 Sigman-Grant, M., & Kim, Y. (2016). Breastfeeding Knowledge and Attitudes of Nevada Health Care Professionals Remain Virtually Unchanged over 10 Years. Journal of Human Lactation, 32(2), 350-354.