Hesperian Health Guides
Working for Change
If you are a health worker, it is not enough to talk about breastfeeding. Women need information and support. Teach women to give nothing but breast milk for the first 6 months. Teach them and their family members that other kinds of feedings may harm the baby.
Support women with breastfeeding before problems start. Help women feel confident that they have enough milk. Mother-to-mother support is the best help for common problems. Try starting a breastfeeding group in your community led by women who have breastfed exclusively, and whose children are growing well.
Make your health center friendly to breastfeeding. Help mothers to breastfeed within the first hour after birth. Allow babies to sleep with or near their mothers. When a mother is sick, let the baby stay with her.
If you are a mother yourself, breastfeed your own baby to show women they can work and breastfeed too.
Remove any posters or educational materials that promote artificial milks. Do not pass on samples or gifts from the infant formula companies and do not let representatives from these companies come to the clinic.
Educate employers about the importance of breastfeeding. Encourage them to provide places for women to breastfeed their babies or to pump milk.