World Breastfeeding Week 2013

8/1 – 8/7/2013

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme, ‘BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: CLOSE TO MOTHERS’, highlights Breastfeeding Peer Counselling. Even when mothers are able to get off to a good start, all too often in the weeks or months after delivery there is a sharp decline in breastfeeding rates, and practices, particularly exclusive breastfeeding. The period when mothers do not visit a healthcare facility is the time when a community support system for mothers is essential. Continued support to sustain breastfeeding can be provided in a variety of ways. Traditionally, support is provided by the family. As societies change, however, in particular with urbanization, support for mothers from a wider circle is needed, whether it is provided by trained health workers, lactation consultants, community leaders, or from friends who are also mothers, and/or from fathers/partners.

The Peer Counselling Program is a cost effective and highly productive way to reach a larger number of mothers more frequently. Peer Counsellors can be anyone from the community who is trained to learn to support mothers. Trained Peer Counsellors, readily available in the community become the lifeline for mothers with breastfeeding questions and issues. “The key to best breastfeeding practices is continued day-to-day support for the breastfeeding mother within her home and community.”

Source: World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action

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Listening to Mothers III: New Mothers Speak Out. Report of National Surveys of Women’s Childbearing Experiences.


Childbirth Connection’s ongoing Listening to Mothers Initiative is devoted to un- derstanding experiences and perspectives of childbearing women, newborns, and families and using this knowledge to improve maternity policy, practice, education, and research. Listening to Mothers surveys are central to this initiative. They en- able us to compare actual experiences of childbearing women and newborns to mothers’ values and preferences, as well as to optimal evidence-based care, optimal outcomes, and protections granted by law. Identified gaps present opportunities to improve conditions during this crucial developmental period for about four million mothers and babies annually in the United States…

…Listening to Mothers III (2012), a national survey of women who gave birth in U.S. hospitals in 2011-12, again included both continuing items and new topics of special relevance to the rapidly evolving health and maternity care environments. We recently issued a report with initial results from that survey, focusing especially on pregnancy and birth. We were grateful to again be able to invite initial survey participants to complete a follow-up survey in the early months of 2013. This report presents results of the follow-up survey, drawing on initial survey results as needed. It includes an in-depth national look at women’s experiences in the months after giving birth from the perspective of maternal well-being, baby well-being, family and relationships, and employment and child care. Further, we examined many aspects of women’s views about the quality of maternity care and engaging in their care, and devote a chapter to these subjects. This report also looks at subgroup differences based on the three largest race/ethnicity groupings (white non-Hispanic, black non-Hispanic, and Hispanic women) and beneficiaries of the two largest maternity care payer groups (women covered by private insurance and Medicaid or CHIP, the Child Health Insurance Pro- gram), trends across multiple surveys, and (in the final appendix) some additional items describing pregnancy and birth experiences.

Source: Childbirth Connections

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