Communicating with Families

 

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Communicating with Families

Communicating with Families

Exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age with the introduction of appropriate complementary food and continued breastfeeding for 2 years and beyond.

This recommendation by WHO and Health Canada is widely communicated, but many families give up breastfeeding in the first few weeks.

 

How can health professionals support families to breastfeed?

  • Reassure mothers that they can trust their bodies and instincts
  • Emphasize that the mother knows best
  • Understand and respect cultural differences
  • Listen and learn about the family’s beliefs and practices
  • Listen carefully and validate the mothers feelings
  • Respect the family’s ability to make decisions
  • Focus on client led concerns and offer information
  • Suggest a range of possibilities
  • Build confidence
  • If for any reason you need to touch a mother’s breast and/or baby respect her body and ask for her permission
  • Follow up and let her know about support services in the community.

“There is no room for judgment, just compassion and understanding” Vilia Tosio

 

What is exclusive breastfeeding? Breastfeeding definitions are as follows:

0-6 Months:

  • Exclusive Breast Milk: Diet is exclusively breast milk; infant has not received any fluid other than breast milk (including expressed milk, donor milk) since birth. Infant may receive oral rehydration solution (ORS), syrups (vitamins, minerals, medicines).
  • Total Breast Milk: Diet includes breast milk (including expressed milk, donor milk); infant has received a liquid other than breast milk since birth but NOT in the past 7 days. Infant has only received breast milk in the past 7 days.
  • Predominant Breast Milk: Diet includes breast milk (including expressed milk, donor milk); infant has received a liquid other than breast milk 1 or 2 times in the past 7 days.
  • Partial Breast Milk: Diet includes breast milk (including expressed milk, donor milk); infant has received a liquid other than breast milk 3 or more times in the past 7 days.
  • No Breast Milk: Diet does not include breast milk

 

6+ Months:

  • Solids & Breast Milk Only: Diet includes breast milk (including expressed milk, donor milk); solids are introduced, infant has received solids in the past 7 days; liquids include breast milk only
  • Solids, Other Liquids & Breast Milk: Diet includes breast milk (including expressed milk, donor milk); solids are introduced and infant has received in the past 7 days. Also includes liquids other than breast milk.
  • Solids & No Breast Milk: Diet does not include breast milk; infant has received solids in the past 7 days.

 

(Wood Buffalo Statistics are collected as per above definitions to measure initiation, exclusivity and duration rates. Click here to see Wood Buffalo Statistics)


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