Example Of Essay On Breastfeeding Policy: The Way Forward
The most efficient care that a mother can offer to her child is breastfeeding him or her for the first six or more months without any supplementary feeds. Therefore, protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding is one of the critical health requirements for a toddler. This should, therefore, be promoted by healthcare providers such as nurses, doctors, pharmacist among others. These providers should advocate this issue in our society by implementing different policies (Lindberg, 2011). The target audience for this policy on promotion and support for breastfeeding was the director of Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti, Mathew Hudson. After contacting him through the phone and e-mail, he invited me to meet him and his board of directors so as to convince them of the importance of the policy. Additionally, there was a need to offer evidenced-based practices that have worked before to bring up the validity of the different interventions on breast feedings. The primary intervention in my policy included maternity care practices, media and social marketing, public acceptance and peer support. In addition to this, the rationality of each of the intervention plan and its evidence of success is also given.Introduction
Breastfeeding is a significant public policy with which taken into consideration, benefits accrue to the mother and child. Currently, the conventional agreement globally is that, all mothers should breastfeed their children exclusively for the first six month. After this, other food can be introduced but it should be supplemented with breast milk. For this to be achieved, there is a need for enough social and nutritional support for mothers who are breastfeeding. Despite the creation of awareness and education of the benefit associated with breastfeeding as per UNICEF, about 1.5 million infants die around the world due to inadequate breastfeeding. Different countries such as the United Kingdom and United States are the few countries that are trying hard to enhance breastfeeding initiation and duration rates.
Based on the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey, it is evident that 53% of the children are exclusively breastfed immediately after birth while about 22% are exclusively breastfed after six months. While in developing countries, initiation is usually not immediate. According to their findings, the admission rate is increasing. However, the rate of duration is reducing.
Some of the key factors that hinder total breastfeeding and duration include; Breast problems such as painful nipples or mothers thinking that she is not producing enough milk. Additionally, social barriers such as employment and very short maternity leave are other factors affecting total breastfeeding. Lack of breastfeeding knowledge is yet another barrier towards breastfeeding. Inadequacy of familial and community support is also another problem. Lastly is the inadequacy of guidance and promotion from health care practitioners (Chamberlain College of Nursing, 2015). Due to the above factors, use of breast milk substitute is introduced very early. For this reason, as a leader within Hope clinic, there is a need to advocate increased breastfeeding initiation and duration among mothers so as to promote the growth and well-being of children.
Other factors such as inadequate support and lack of experience among the health practitioners on best breastfeeding can have an enormous implication on breastfeeding initiation and duration rates. This is because some health practitioners have used their breastfeeding experience to replace evidence-based knowledge for mothers.
For this reason, active policies are required so as to support and promote breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among mothers. This will ensure that children receive their rights of breast milk. I hope that the following intervention and recommendations will gain support from the director of the Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti, Mathew Hudson.Key Strategies, Recommendations, and Empirical Evidenced
As discussed above, it is evident that breastfeeding initiation and duration is highly affected by various factors within our society. As a result, as health professionals, there is a need to promote and support breastfeeding initiation and duration among mothers in low-income population. For this reason, to achieve the best results, different interventions must be adopted. Such interventions include;
Promoting Maternity Care Practices; as a Hope Clinic officials, there is a need to encourage maternity care practices. This involves breastfeeding that takes place during the hospital stay by the mother during prenatal care; care at labor times and during birth and also postpartum care. To achieve the best results, the clinic should ensure that all its medical practitioners receive some training and education on maternity care practices. Major issues to be focused on during training include promoting breastfeeding initiation, promoting cue-based feeding and limiting the use of any supplement for infant and also encourage post discharge follow up. A direct contact between the mother and the child should be promoted as it is evident to have some positive influence on breastfeeding (Chamberlain College of Nursing, 2015).
My recommendation for the above practice is based on the fact that Maternity Care Practices offers the mother and the infant some emotional experience. Such experiences can have a considerable influence on breastfeeding commencement and child feeding habits in the future. Despite the fact that a mother stays for a very short period in hospital after delivering, it is important to note that this has an enormous impact on the development of breastfeeding. For instance, prenatal education can create a significant change in a mother perception such that she makes it a breastfeeding habit.
This practice is valid according to the Cochrane review. Based on their findings, it is evident that changes in maternity care practices among the nurse and other professionals have a significant influence on mothers’ breastfeeding habits. The change of breastfeeding habits among the mothers may be associated with implementation of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) or even personal interventions such as raising the space for mothers and babies or getting rid of policies that are not appropriate (Liamputtong, 2011). Additionally, educating and training health practitioners on Maternity Care Practices also contribute a lot to changing perspectives of the mothers towards breastfeeding.
Offering Professional Support to Mothers; it is important for clinic professionals within the hospital set up to provide assistance in the form of counseling or behavior alteration in an attempt to enhance breastfeeding habits. He or she assists the mother and the baby with critical issues and how to handle the baby during breastfeeding. This can be face to face interaction or via the phone.
The primary reason for the above recommendation is the fact that mothers’ first experience especially, the first-time mother faces a difficult time on how and the period the mother will go on breastfeeding. Inadequate support from the professionals is known to be one of the limiting factors to breastfeeding (Shealy et al., 2014).
The empirical evidence of this intervention is clearly depicted by U.S Preventive Service Task Force. From its study, provision of professional assistance to mothers through face to face conversation and the use of telephone raised the numbers of women who go on breastfeeding their children for 6 months (Caulfield et.al, 2013).
Next is to promote Breastfeeding in the Workplace; Hope Clinic should advocate breastfeeding in the workplace by educating and creating awareness among the employees on the importance of breastfeeding to growth and development of infants. This involves advising companies on the development of work policies that support breastfeeding mothers. That includes teaching employees about the importance of breastfeeding and even offering designated places where mothers can express milk for their infants.
The reason behind the recommendation of this intervention is the fact that mothers are rapidly growing segment of the U.S. human resources. Often, parents return to their respective employment within three months after delivering. As a result, working outside the home is one of the initiators of short breastfeeding durations. Major hindrances related to workplace, therefore, is a lack of flexibility for milk expression, lack of space to pump or store breast milk, perceived low milk production and lack of support from employers and colleagues.
Empirical evidence of this is linked to indicators of satisfaction and perception associated to work environment programs. The evaluation of the use of breastfeeding support and services offer a positive perception among employees (Liamputtong, 2011). From different studies, it is evident that promotion of lactation in the work environment is beneficial to individual families and also to the employees in term of employee productivity.
Media and Social Marketing; this is also an important intervention that I recommend to promote and support breastfeeding initiation and duration. This involves any promotion, and advertising that support breastfeeding image in the media and that encourage the positive way of thinking towards breastfeeding. This process will take different approaches such as professional support, offering different things to the targeted mothers or even sponsoring an event meant to encourage breastfeeding. This will be held by use of various public channels such as radio, television, printed articles or open-air advertising (Caulfield et al., 2013).
The primary reason for this recommendation is the fact ads on breastfeeding makes it healthy to the society. As a result, making breastfeeding normal is the best option for women and technique to promote breastfeeding initiation and duration.
The empirical evidence on this is that, use of media campaign has been one of the major successful methods to promote and encourage breastfeeding. Social marketing is, for this reason, one of the most efficient intervention processes for behavior changes on issues related to public health problems.
Peer Support; this is the next intervention that I recommend so as to promote breastfeeding initiation and duration. The principal aim of this program will be to help and assists mothers and expected mothers. Women who are breastfeeding or have passed through this process there before often offer this support more efficiently. This will take place through face-to-face, clinics, home visits or even telephone calls. As a result, the peer support is vital in that, it will help solve different problems, offer psychological assistance, some encouragement and education to women.
The reason behind selection of this recommendation is the fact that interaction between women will be a very influential and, therefore, will be a very good source of change in regards to breastfeeding habits. For the first-time mother, the primary or preferred source of assistance is a mother but not girls. If a mother feels that she is getting social support, her perception on breastfeeding is influenced positively (World Health Organization & UNICEF 2010).
Empirical evidence on this is associated with Fairbank et.al findings. Based on their research it is evident that, peer support is a very effective intervention to increasing breastfeeding initiation and period among mothers.Conclusion
As discussed above it is evident the most the effective care that a mother can offer to her child is breastfeeding. For this reason, I recommend the following actions to be taken to improve, promote and support breastfeeding initiation and duration.Recommendations1. To increase awareness of breastfeeding benefits for breastfeeding mothers2. Make the arrangement to organize outreach programs in the society with low-income populations3. Trigger the role of the health counseling and support unit within the Hope Clinic4. Make the arrangement for workshop and training for maternity care and practice among the nurses and health practitioners within the organization.5. Advocate for allocations of private, calm space for breastfeeding in public areas and the workplace.6. Advocate for increase taxes to raise prices of the formula milk products and supplements
Chamberlain College of Nursing. (2015). NR-506 Week 2: Legislative and Policy Making Process: How Nurses Can Make an Impact [Online lesson]. Downers Grove, IL: DeVry Education Group.
Caulfield, L. E., Gross, S. M., Bentley, M. E., Bronner, Y., Kessler, L., Jensen, J., Weathers, B., Paige, D. M. (January 01, 2013). WIC-based interventions to promote breastfeeding among African-American Women in Baltimore: effects on breastfeeding initiation and continuation. Journal of Human Lactation : Official Journal of International Lactation Consultant Association, 14, 1, 15-22.
Lindberg, L. (January 01, 2011). Trends in the relationship between breastfeeding and postpartum employment in the United States.Social Biology, 43.
Liamputtong, P. (2011). Infant Feeding Practices: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Shealy, K. R., United States., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.), & National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (U.S.). (2014). The CDC guide to breastfeeding interventions. Washington, D.C: United States. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
World Health Organization.,& UNICEF. (2010). Global strategy for infant and young child feeding. Geneva: World Health Organization.