A comfortable sofa to settle into by the window overlooking the autumn-coloured garden. Relaxed. The gaze settled on the bare branches of trees waving in the wind as the rain pattered against the glass.
Comfortable, in this way, the idea for these words took root.
Let us commence with a step back in time. A time when a comfortable sofa, in one’s living room served as the setting for peer support infant feeding group meetings. The chronological sequence would be, as I see it, as such: The mother/parent-infant dyad firstly feels comfortable with the idea of attending the mother-to mother/parent-to-parent support group meeting. Then, the dyad feels comfortable in the company of peers and the peer counselor. In conclusion, the dyad feels comfortable with the idea of talking about their infant feeding problem.
Speaking of presenting the idea of conferring breastfeeding/chestfeeding-support resources, let us look at the facility’s engagement to enhance accessibility of appropriate community resources and refer mother/parent-infant dyads to them. (1) As it may be gathered from looking at guiding documents on the activities related to quality improvement implementation such as BFHI/BFI.
Such implementation activities may also give perinatal health care professionals the opportunity to participate in educational workshops on communication skills building. Now, in relation to sharing information with parent/mother-infant dyads on breastfeeding/chestfeeding-support resources in the community upon their discharge from the health care facility.
Practicing skills on how to give the information in a sensitive and effective manner can be helpful for the mother/parent-infant dyad, notably in supporting the dyad who may be facing challenges related to infant feeding.
Naturally, expanding knowledge on the advantages gained by some families of having peer group discussion on infant feeding surely leads to feeling more comfortable and confident to refer mother/parent-infant dyads to available sources. And, practicing communication techniques in conviviality, with team members surely encourages the creation of interactive environments where everyone feels relaxed and comfortable in each other’s company.
May comfortable settings define your journey.
(1) World Health Organization. (2020). Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in facilities providing maternity and newborn services: the revised Baby-friendly Hospital initiative: 2018 implementation guidance: frequently asked questions.
World Health Organization. (2020). Baby-friendly hospital initiative training course for maternity staff: trainer's guide
World Health Organization. (2018). Guideline: counselling of women to improve breastfeeding practices. World Health Organization.
Giglia, R., Cox, K., Zhao, Y., & Binns, C. W. (2015). Exclusive breastfeeding increased by an internet intervention. Breastfeeding Medicine, 10(1), 20-25.
Dennis, C. L. (2002). Breastfeeding peer support: maternal and volunteer perceptions from a randomized controlled trial. Birth, 29(3), 169-176.
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