Opening the Discussion on Feeding

Head Start staff have a unique opportunity to engage pregnant women and families in discussions around breastfeeding in a culturally responsive and respectful manner. Health and nutrition coordinators, program administrators, and staff receive several open-ended questions to begin conversations with breastfeeding families. Staff members are encouraged to connect women and families with community resources to provide breastfeeding support.

Staff in Head Start programs build the kinds of relationships with families that make a difference in breastfeeding support and education. It is critical that staff talk with each family to hear their understanding of breastfeeding and any feelings associated with it. Staff members may worry that they might make a parent feel guilty or ashamed if they offer the facts about breastfeeding. The truth is, families make the best choices they can for their babies. In conversations, recognize the demands on families, give them the latest information on breastfeeding, and problem-solve with them to identify strategies they can use to make the healthiest choices that they can for their children. Remember that you don’t need to have all of the answers. Look at the resources in this guide and contact community partners if families need more than you can offer. Opening the Discussion on Feeding»