The importance of Breast Milk in daily life
For National Breastfeeding Month, we interviewed Angeliz Rivera. She is a registered nurse with a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education, specialized in mother/infant care. Working as a Nurse since 2014, Angeliz shared useful tips on raising awareness about the importance of breast milk in daily life.
3 Tips on how Health Care Providers can help raise awareness about the importance of breast milk in daily life:
1) Separate breastfeeding from parenting status
Although breastfeeding for many mothers is an essential part of their parenting approach, when we educate about breastfeeding we cannot create an atmosphere of judgment in which the unwilling or unable to breastfeed feel that she is an irresponsible or incompetent mother. When one expresses a desire to breastfeed her baby (or not), it is everyone’s duty as a society to put aside our experiences and prejudices and give her the hand to successfully achieve her feeding goals.
2) Change our line of questioning
It is time to change our line of thought and questioning. I always hear people ask: “Are you going to breastfeed?” That question should be banned from every lactation and healthcare professional’s head. The right questions should be: What do you know about breastfeeding? What do you need to breastfeed? Have you had experience with breastfeeding in the past and, if so, what was that like? That way we start from a better position to raise awareness.
3) Build self-confidence and empowerment
There are many people who are reluctant to hear about breastfeeding and may make up messy terms and spread false information that undermines a woman’s self-confidence and empowerment when it comes to feeding her child the way she wishes to. Breastfeeding may not be a behavior that comes naturally to all mothers, it has to be effectively taught and practiced to make it an attainable goal. Most mothers know that breastfeeding is beneficial, but they must also believe that they have the power to do so and that it is a goal that, with competent assistance, they can achieve.
About Angeliz Rivera
Angeliz Rivera is a registered nurse and breastfeeding mother of a 10-month-old baby. She cares for patients in the prenatal clinic at the University District Hospital (UDH) in Puerto Rico’s Medical Center.