Post Content

Mass in Motion Posted by:
Meghan Morse, Department of Public Health

Meghan is the new State Breastfeeding Coordinator for DPH.

 

You may have noticed that the news is buzzing with breastfeeding articles lately! Recently, the Surgeon General released a Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, detailing how we can all support a mom’s decision to breastfeed. In addition, Healthy People 2020 raised the bar for moms and babies.
We know that most moms want to breastfeed their babies—recent data shows that 82% of moms in Massachusetts started breastfeeding.  But the number of moms who continue to breastfeed drops dramatically soon after birth.  By 2 months of age, only 47% of infants are exclusively breastfeeding, meaning that they are receiving only breast milk and no formula.

As many moms can tell you, this striking shift after birth has a lot do with the lack of support for breastfeeding mothers. The fact that so many moms begin breastfeeding demonstrates that moms know this is a good choice. Many moms can also tell you that breastfeeding isn’t easy in the beginning.  A lack of support is sometimes enough to put doubt in a mom’s mind that she can continue. 
You might be thinking, “So, how can I support a mom’s decision to breastfeed?” 

• In the early days, moms want help, but not necessarily help caring for her baby. Helping her out with chores around the house can help take her mind off of less important things- so that she can bond with her baby.

• Remind mom of the great job she’s doing and help her feel comfortable while breastfeeding.

• If you are an employer, set aside a private room for mom to pump milk while she is at work. A new federal law requires employers to accommodate breastfeeding moms up to a year after delivering her baby with adequate time and space to pump. Read more about this new law here.

• If you are a medical provider, family member, or friend, consider referring mom to a WIC program near you. WIC provides services, such as individualized breastfeeding assessment, education and support; breastfeeding classes and support groups; help accessing pumps; Mother-to-Mother Peer Support; and much more!

To find a WIC program in your area and to see if you qualify, visit: www.mass.gov/wic. Information about breastfeeding can be found under ‘Breastfeeding Support’ on this site. Even moms that do not qualify for WIC may call a program to get in touch with other community breastfeeding resources.

For moms who do not qualify for WIC, the La Leche League International helps moms to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and the mother.

Also try www.zipmilk.com for other resources in your area.  Do you have other tips to share on supporting new moms?

Written By:

Recent Posts

Adults – Why Vaccines Are Important For You posted on Aug 14

Did you know you need vaccines throughout your life? Even if you were fully vaccinated as a child, the protection from some vaccines you received can wear off over time and you may need a booster. There also are specific vaccines that you may need   …Continue Reading Adults – Why Vaccines Are Important For You

Highlights of the August 9th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Aug 9

The August monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured an amended Determination of Need (DoN) request and a pair of votes on final amendments to regulations. First, the Council took up an application from North Shore Medical Center for a significant amendment to an   …Continue Reading Highlights of the August 9th Public Health Council Meeting

Pregnant? What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself & Your Baby posted on Aug 7

Vaccines are an important component of a healthy pregnancy and there are a few things to you need to know to protect yourself and your baby from vaccine-preventable diseases. Women should be up to date on their vaccines before becoming pregnant, and should receive vaccines   …Continue Reading Pregnant? What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself & Your Baby