Our topic for October is Step 3 of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding; "Discuss the importance and management of breastfeeding with pregnant women and their families.”
In their open access systematic review, Haroon, Das, Salam, Imdad, and Bhutta report "EBF rates appeared to increase as a result of breastfeeding promotion interventions...[and] Combined individual and group counseling was found more effective than individual or group counseling alone,” (p 533). Prenatal breastfeeding education makes an impact, with increased exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) more evident in developed countries than developing countries.
Healthcare providers as well as expecting parents need to begin education on breastfeeding in the prenatal period. Delaying the feeding/parenting decision to breastfeed until the mother is in labor is ineffective and could have a backfiring effect.
The authors conclude their review with this:
"Observing the success of educational strategies for promoting breastfeeding in developing countries, we should consider introducing these strategies on a large scale, utilizing both facility-based care and resources at the community level. These interventions should involve well-timed individual counseling along with group sessions for helping mothers achieve the goal of EBF till 6 months and continued BF till two years of life,” (p 534).
What strategies do you put into place in the prenatal period for educating the expectant family? As a healthcare provider, when do you introduce the idea of breastfeeding to the mother? Do you teach prenatal classes? If so, what helps you to make a connection with the families in your class? And how do they receive the information?
Kathy Parkes, MSN-Ed, RN, IBCLC, FILCA, CHC
Professional Development Educator
Haroon, S., Das, J.K., Salam, R.A., Imdad, A., and Bhutta, Z.A. (2013). Breastfeeding promotion interventions and breastfeeding practices: a systematic review. BMC; 13(suppl 3): 520-538. Open Access at: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1471-2458-13-S3-S20
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