World Breastfeeding Week: Protect Breastfeeding, a Shared ResponsibilityAug 03, 2021
Postpartum doulas are a part of the team responsible for protecting the MotherBaby breastfeeding relationship. Working with clients who have chosen to breastfeed requires doulas to observe, and listen to provide the best support possible.
Let's face it. Breastfeeding is still not universally accepted, which is absolutely insane. I'll never understand it. Though, I do understand that breastfeeding is often sabotaged by the uninformed or the ill informed.
Postpartum doulas can educate, guide and support their clients and family members; all in the name of protecting the breastfeeding relationship. Sometimes it's simply a matter of helping the mother minimize distractions. Other times, it's a matter of educating family members that may not know.
There are many other things you can do to protect breastfeeding. Setting up comfortable areas for Mom to breastfeed, reminding her to stay hydrated, and helping her rest and relax with her baby are all within your scope.
If you have already taken a quality postpartum doula training, you will have learned about positioning, and what a good latch looks like. Managing early breastfeeding challenges like sore nipples and engorgement are within your scope as a postpartum doula. You can encourage your client to work through it, and give her tips and suggestions. When you recommend anything and things don't improve, you'll want to refer out.
Get to know the breastfeeding support professionals in your community. You'll be able to call on them when a situation requires additional support. This is the shared responsibility. Connecting the dots and building relationships is essential if we want breastfeeding to be accepted, and encouraged.
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