While breastfeeding provides the most complete nutrition for infants, it is not advised in certain situations. Staff, expecting, and breastfeeding mothers may find this information useful and are encouraged to ask health care providers about breastfeeding in special circumstances.
There are many benefits to breastfeeding. Even if you are able to do it for only a short time, your baby's immune system can benefit from breast milk. This information explains the added benefits of breastfeeding for yourself, your baby, and how it influences society.
In your work with expectant families, help them prepare to advocate for their decision to breastfeed. Whether the baby is born in a hospital, birthing center, or at home, support for breastfeeding can vary greatly. For example, some hospitals and birthing centers have lactation consultants or other staff available to visit each new mom and discuss breastfeeding. Others offer little support for breastfeeding and may even encourage the use of formula. Remind parents that the decision about how their babies will be fed is theirs to make. Talk with parents about how they will make their decision to breastfeed known.
Consider several possible ways to discuss with your employer your intention to breastfeed after returning to work. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers receive guidance on how to inform their employers about the benefits of breastfeeding and to discuss accommodations for expressing milk.
The National Immunization survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes data on national breastfeeding rates for infants born from 2000 to 2009. Program staff and pregnant women may use this information to learn about breastfeeding trends in the United States.
The La Leche League is an international, nonprofit organization that supports and promotes breastfeeding through mother-to-mother support and education. The website offers families and staff a directory of local La Leche group meetings and leaders, a hotline number for breastfeeding questions, and a variety of written resources.
This booklet describes, in Chinese, the benefits of breastfeeding and addresses common concerns related to breastfeeding. Program staff may use this information to educate expecting mothers about breastfeeding.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement provides pediatricians and other health care professionals with guidelines and recommendations on the benefits of breastfeeding for infants, mothers, and the community. This is useful for program staff working with expecting and new mothers.
Program staff's feelings on breastfeeding can impact how they educate families of their infant feeding options. Staff members may use these questions to identify their feelings and concerns about breastfeeding.
This article highlights how programs can partner with WIC and utilize WIC resources to promote and support breastfeeding. Program administrators and health and nutrition coordinators may use this information to build partnerships with WIC to create better breastfeeding policies for mothers and families.