How to Support Nursing Moms
research shows that parents who get help are more likely to breastfeed
Eau Claire City-County Health Department
Breastfeeding gives babies the healthiest start in life. However, breastfeeding can be challenging for many families. In Wisconsin, around 1 in 4 babies is fed only breastmilk for the first 6 months of life. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding babies only breastmilk until they are about 6 months old, and then continuing to breastfeed while introducing solid foods until the child is 12 months or older.
Mothers who receive support from healthcare providers, the community, at work, and from family, friends, and peers are more likely to breastfeed. Community-wide support for breastfeeding helps families and can improve breastfeeding rates.
Here’s how you can support breastfeeding moms:
• Give words of encouragement when she’s having breastfeeding difficulties.
• Create a comfortable home environment where she can practice and get used to breastfeeding.
• Take on additional household chores.
• Bring any needed items during a nursing session, like water, a snack, her phone, or a book.
• Attend a breastfeeding class with her.
• If she’s pumping, take over the night feeding by warming and feeding a previously expressed bottle of breastmilk.
The WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program offers many benefits for pregnant and breastfeeding moms (and their children up to age 5). In addition to food benefits, WIC staff provide breastfeeding classes, breastfeeding peer counseling and support.
“All WIC staff are trained to promote breastfeeding and provide the necessary resources and support that new breastfeeding mothers and infants need for success,” said Lexie Tuma, a public health nutritionist at the Eau Claire City-County Health Department. “WIC staff provide support by giving reassurance, praise, information, and the opportunity for women to receive help with breastfeeding and ask questions.”
For questions about breastfeeding, breastfeeding support, or to see if you qualify for the WIC program, contact the Eau Claire City-County Health Department WIC Program at (715) 839-5051 or visit parenting.echealthdepartment.org.