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Promotion of Breastfeeding

Another discussion topic for pregnancy nutrition on breastfeeding. I am very passionate about breastfeeding and will make it a priority to teach my clients how important breastfeeding is for both mother and baby.


Discuss how breastfeeding can be promoted- either prior to the birth, in the hospital, postpartum, or in the work place.

Breastfeeding is promoted in many different ways. When women become pregnant, they have the option to take a breastfeeding class, usually later in their pregnancy through their local hospital or provider’s office. WIC, the government assistance program for women, infants and children, also encourages breastfeeding by requiring their patients to take a class on breastfeeding. After birth, breastfeeding is encouraged in most hospitals within the first hour of birth. Staff is trained in lactation in teaching both mother and baby how to latch, hold and duration for breastfeeding. Most providers encourage feeding on demand, which means the baby is put to the breast any time she shows signs of hunger. After discharge from the hospital, some mothers can receive in home help from a lactation specialist or through a program in the hospital. At PVH, Wee Steps is the breastfeeding assistance program that allows mothers to bring their baby in to be weighed and receive help with feedings, painful nipples, and other breastfeeding questions. Lastly, breastfeeding is promoted through other mothers. The support system women have with each other can greatly influence a mothers ability to continue breastfeeding.

Do you feel hospitals do enough to promote breastfeeding? Why or why not?  Do you feel it is important they do?  Why?

Based in on my experience with breastfeeding and working in a hospital, I believe most hospitals do not do enough to promote breastfeeding. PVH has been awarded a “baby friendly” hospital, meaning babies “room in” with their mother and breastfeeding is highly encourage before supplementing formula and only in cases which would warrant that or personal preference would supplementing happen. PVH is among the 6% of other hospitals in our state classified as baby friendly. Many hospitals around the country are moving towards becoming more baby friendly, but the movement is not strong enough to say that hospitals are doing enough to promote breastfeeding. However, there has been an increase over the last few years: “From 2009 to 2011 the national average Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care score increased from 65 to 70, and scores increased by 5 or more points in 26 states and DC” (CDC).

Are there Colorado Laws that support breastfeeding/pumping in the workplace?

Colorado does have a few laws supporting workplace breastfeeding and pumping. The laws are similar to the federal laws. Once mothers return to work, they must be given time to pump if they continue to breastfeed. Unpaid time, however many breaks are needed, must be allotted by employers and they must be able to pump in a clean, private room, not a bathroom.

Please discuss any personal experiences you have had with the promotion (or not) of breastfeeding. 

I had my son at PVH and made sure that my nurses knew that breastfeeding was in my birth plan. They asked me if it was and they were very encouraging of my choice. When my son was born he popped a hole in his lung and was admitted to the NICU right away. Breastfeeding was put on hold for several days. However, I was encouraged to pump every two hours to help my milk come in and to collect colostrum. On day three I was encouraged to try nursing him. He could not get a good latch and so we tried a nipple shield. The NICU nurses were great in their encouragement and I was able to nurse my son, but not without the shield. We then dealt with thrush and an abscess which ended our nursing days at 10 weeks. In that time, however, I was at Wee Steps almost every week and I also had a mom call me often to check in when I could not talk to someone at Wee Steps. The encouragement was very strong and they helped diagnose the thrush. I also tried to nurse in public a few times but without great success. I hope next time will be easier and better for both of us.



2 thoughts on “Promotion of Breastfeeding

  1. I was going to leave you this amazingly long comment but most of it is on my blog… short story is a lot of hospitals, my local one included, have a long way to go when it comes to being baby friendly and not just doing the minimum to say they are but actually making it a priority and doing it well.

    1. I know that is the sad part. Less than 10% of hospitals in the country are baby friendly. I am unsure of stats on those which are but are not doing the best in promoting it. That would be interesting to know.

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