Tag Archives | support

YouTube for Breastfeeding: Video Sharing as a Counseling Tool

By Jessica Lang Kosa, PhD, IBCLC

youtube-logo2“Do you have any suggestions for how to get a deeper latch?” asks the mom on the phone. I’ve been a LLL leader for years, so I have a lot of experience with phone counseling, but certain questions always leave me struggling for words while illustrating my point with animated hand gestures that are invisible to the caller. Even the best description of a physical technique just doesn’t do it justice – a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video, well that’s priceless. Hence, my YouTube channel.

YouTube is a video sharing website that allows anyone to post videos. They can be restricted to only certain viewers, or can be made public. If a video is public, then other users can share it around by marking it as a favorite, emailing a link, or adding it to a playlist (a collection of videos). The copyright agreement that video creators agree to allows only for open sharing within YouTube – not for downloading the video. Links to a video can also be embedded in a Facebook post, blog, or other social media, but the link goes back to YouTube. A user can simply view other people’s videos, or can create a channel – essentially a homepage, where the host can present their own videos and links and comments on other public videos. Accounts and channels are free. Creators of a video can choose to show an ad at the beginning to generate revenue (both for themselves and for YouTube), and this is what keeps it viable.

As a teaching tool, this is incredibly powerful. A mother calls to say she is engorged and can’t get the baby to latch. I can send her to a video demonstrating reverse pressure softening. Any time I teach a client a technique – hand expression, laid-back breastfeeding, supplementing at breast – I can also give her links to videos. Learning theorists say that we all remember information better when we receive it through multiple routes; verbal, kinesthetic, and visual all reinforce each other. I can also diversify, by offering both my own videos – reminding her of what I taught her in person – and other public videos, usually offering a slightly different approach. She can see for herself a real range of practices, and experiment to find what works for her. One of my favorite things to teach new mothers is nursing while babywearing. Since there are zillions of different carriers, and many ways of nursing in them, collecting a lot of examples in a playlist is super useful.

I’ve posted several videos I made myself; all are short simple ones shot with an iPhone. One of the first videos I posted was a live demonstration of hand expression by a colleague. Within 48 hours, it had thousands of views, and had been flagged as “inappropriate” and removed by YouTube. I fought YouTube, and got it reinstated, now marked “18 and over” and “For Health Education Only.” I also disabled the comments – most of which were coming from people who were not my intended audience.

After that, I switched mostly to videos using props rather than actual breasts. In addition to reducing the troll traffic, props have several advantages. For one thing, they simplify. For another, it’s easy to make a point very quickly. My demo baby (a teddy bear) can be moved around into several different positions, including those that would be uncomfortable for a real baby. Seeing a real baby latch is valuable too, but with my bear, puppet, and knitted breast, I can illustrate the key points several times over in less than a minute. Another lesson I’ve learned is that a 1-minute video is generally more useful than a 10-minute video.

Since my goal in posting videos is to have an easy teaching tool, I have not put ads on my own videos. But it’s an option, and a popular video can make some significant ad revenue. For those who just want to use videos to support their work with mothers, the first step is to create an account, and browse. Search terms like breastfeeding, twins, pumping, whatever you find yourself describing often. When you find something you like, click “Favorite”, or “Add to Playlist.” For a playlist, you will have a chance to create a new playlist, name it (such as “Twin nursing positions”), and add a description. A playlist is good for when you want to organize multiple videos on a topic. Then, you can email or text links to individual videos, or a playlist, or your “channel.” (Or to my channel, which can be found HERE.) This is not a time-consuming process, and it’s free. And it’s much easier than describing that invisible latching baby over the phone.

Jessica head 4Jessica Lang Kosa is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in private practice in the Boston area.  She offers home visits for comprehensive breastfeeding help, and teaches courses in breastfeeding support for professionals who work with mothers and babies.

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Social Media Highlight: Nevada Breastfeeds Facebook Page

At Lactation Matters, we love having the opportunity to hear from YOU about innovative ideas to reach and support breastfeeding mothers.  We were recently encouraged to check out the Nevada Breastfeeds Facebook page.  We had the privilege of interviewing Sarah Ortega, founder of the page that is currently supporting almost 2,500 “friends”, about why she thinks online support is essential to today’s mothers. Sarah and her family are long-time residents of the Reno, Nevada area and she has four breastfed children.  Her experience with Robin Hollen, IBCLC of Starfish Lactation after the birth of her youngest child, who was born with a severe cleft palate, put her on her current path towards becoming an IBCLC.

1.  How did the Nevada Breastfeeds FB get started?

I started the Nevada Breastfeeds Facebook page after many talks with Robin Hollen, the IBCLC with whom I work. We decided that it was in our community’s best interest to have a page for breastfeeding women to find information, support and encouragement. I created Nevada Breastfeeds as a “friends” page, meaning I would have to send and/or receive friend requests. The main reason for approaching it this way was so that women could send a personal message to me if they didn’t want their question publicized. (Editor’s note:  Facebook recently added a “private messaging” feature to business pages.) When I first started, I had a small group of women that I knew from other breastfeeding projects, so I sent them friend requests and the page grew from there. It was a slow start, but I dedicate a lot of time and effort to make sure I “friend” people that would benefit from this page.

Used with permission from Amen Photography

2.  How is it moderated? Do you personally answer questions or do the mothers on the page respond to each other?

I monitor the page almost 24/7…just ask my husband. 🙂 I am a Certified Lactation Educator (CLE) and am training to be an IBCLC.  There are several different options that women have to get their questions or concerns addressed. Friends of the page can post directly to the wall. If they want a direct answer from me, they can send me a personal message.  I try my hardest to answer all questions within 24 hours. Depending on the question, I will comment or ask for additional detail, then repost so everyone can see the question. This seems to be the most effective way to get people to comment. If I determine that the person posting needs more one-on-one help, I will remove the question from the wall and send a personal message to address the issue or concern. I am very careful to not go outside of my scope, which can be very limited as a CLE and I always refer to ILCA’s Find A Lactation Consultant page or help them find an IBCLC when I feel they need more professional help.

Used with permission from Amen Photography

3.  Why do you feel this is an essential opportunity for mothers?

You must be a part of the conversation to have any impact on people. I work very hard to establish relationships on Facebook. I believe that women are hearing information from many different people (friends, family, doctors, strangers etc..). For me to come along and offer advice doesn’t set me apart from all of the others. It is about building relationships. If someone has had a question or concern, I try to follow-up with them to make sure they received what they needed. If they need additional follow-up with a professional, I refer. If they just need some more support, I am there for them. This page is very close to my heart and I want people to know that they are cared about.

Used with permission from Amen Photography

4.  Any great success stories?

One friend of the page wasn’t planning to breastfeed because she had tried with her first two children and was not successful. We had many conversations during her pregnancy and she decided that she would start out with a goal of breastfeeding for 6 weeks.  She had a little bit of a rough start and she sent me many messages because she thought things were going terrible. With the information she would give me, I could tell she was doing GREAT! Her baby was gaining really well and she wasn’t in pain, so I just kept encouraging and reassuring her. Her goal quickly changed to 4 months, then 6 and so on. She is now in the process of weaning him at 14 months. I am so proud of her and she is proud of herself! In my heart and mind, this is what my page is all about.

In addition, here is a message that I received this past week from a women who is a friend of the page and attended a few support groups…

I just wanted to say thank you for all your support and help with breast feeding! My son is soon to be five months old and is healthier than ever. In his first few months of life, he had respiratory, sinus and weight gain issues but I am pleased to say those have all subsided. He is a chunky, happy, healthy baby and I truly believe it is because of breastfeeding! You gave us a gift for a lifetime and I couldn’t have lasted this long exclusively breastfeeding without your support. Your FB page gave me hope when I was in tears and the posts from other moms gave me confidence that I could do it. When I had a question, no matter how personal or minimal, it was answered! So again I thank you!

We thank Sarah for her commitment to supporting breastfeeding mothers and encourage all ILCA members to check out Nevada Breastfeeds on Facebook.

*Special thanks goes to Amen Photography for allowing us to share these photographs which will be used in the 2013 Nevada Breastfeeds Calendar.  Look for a future post about this great project!

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Care for a Virtual Cuppa? Australia’s first Online Breastfeeding Café launched.

Written by Maddy Knight

The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) has welcomed the newest addition to its stable of services for breastfeeding families, the Online Breastfeeding Café(OBC).

With so many blogs on the web about breastfeeding (ILCA’s Lactation Matters recently referred to BlogHer’s study where over 98% of respondents said they trusted the information they received on blogs), the Online Breastfeeding Café has been developed by the ABA as an online community where users can share, discover and chat with guaranteed reliable, up to date information.

The OBC also has families in mind. This means the inclusion of  an additional men’s parenting section and private, log-in only forum for Dads.

The new site was launched on behalf of NSW Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner by State Member Roza Sage at Glenmore Park Child and Family (NSW real estate Australia) precinct on Tuesday 26 June. Also present at the launch were Cr Greg Davies, Mayor of Penrith and Todd Carney representing Federal Member the Hon. David Bradbury.

The Online Breastfeeding Café was three years in development and was designed with Generation Y parents in mind, knowing that for today’s families both mums and dads want to share in the breastfeeding and parenting journey.

“The OBC can help make sure mother’s and fathers both have a place to go to ask and share about their experiences. It really helps them to parent from the same page” says Nicole Bridges, Australian Breastfeeding Association Assistant Branch President.

“These days dads aren’t passive breastfeeding supporters, they want to know what’s going on and how they can help and support mum in any way they can. If she’s happy then the whole family is happy.”

The Online Breastfeeding Café features many of the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s reliable resources and information, but packaged in a new, vibrant and easy to use website that compliments its existing website.

The concept of the breastfeeding café as a physical venue first took off in the UK a couple of years ago. The OBC is the first attempt to take the concept of a comfortable, relaxed place to share and chat about breastfeeding and turn it into an online community.

A café theme runs through the website, with areas such as The Breastfeeding Couch, full of great tips, latest articles and breastfeeding videos; a dad’s-own section of the website aptly titled Dad’s Espresso Bar; great stories and inspiration in A Cuppa and a Read, as well as a long list of popular tools such as finding your local breastfeeding-friendly café.

More features of the Online Breastfeeding Café:

  • Most asked breastfeeding questions, and tips on making breastfeeding easier.
  • How to find your local breastfeeding class or breastfeeding-friendly café or lactation products.
  • Information on breastfeeding and returning to work.
  • The latest breastfeeding articles from the ABA and other trusted sources.
  • Great forums to get involved in, including a general/mum’s forum and completely private Dad’s forum.
  • In “Dad’s Espresso Bar”, a new father can find some practical ways to develop his own special unique bond with his baby even though mum does the breastfeeding. He can also chat with other dads in a private forum about some of the unique concerns of fathers.

The Online Breastfeeding Café also has forums that are fully mobile (containing every post) so you can take it with you and have a virtual cuppa and chat with other parents, all while you enjoy your latte at your local breastfeeding-friendly café.

We would love new mothers (and dads) to know all about this great new online community.

Log in today at www.onlinebreastfeedingcafe.com.au or contact the community manager@onlinebreastfeedingcafe.com.au for more information.

Maddy Knight is Project Director of the Online Breastfeeding Café. She is an experienced journalist, media advisor, publicist and graphic designer and has worked extensively with non-profit organisations including the Australian Breastfeeding Association. The Online Breastfeeding Café was her brainchild for which she developed the website plan and layout, edited and wrote much of the content and even designed the logo and slogan. She spends her spare time singing and writing her blog Bondi Sourdough 101. She lives in Bondi Beach with her husband and cat, Luna.

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Round Table Discussion: Predictors of Breastfeeding (Part Two)

Today, our authors will discuss recommendations for health care professionals and lactation consultants to help increase breastfeeding duration in our communities, as well as potential factors to study in future research projects.  Each
author’s title and JHL research article can be found on the first article of this series: Round Table Discussion: Predictors of Breastfeeding Duration (Part One)

As breastfeeding advocates, what recommendations can you make for us to help increase breastfeeding duration in our communities?

Lucía Colodro Conde:  Influences from factors related to breastfeeding duration should not be considered immutable. Researchers and practitioners should consider the social environment in which influential factors take place, as this may modulate its impact. Family structure, social support, norms about natural or artificial infant feeding,
working conditions, health promotion interventions, or hospital practices, among others, could moderate this interaction. Interventions should be adapted to the mother’s conditions as a whole, taking into account their personal and social characteristics and their social context. Interventions should start before childbirth and support and guidance should be readily available to those women who aim to breastfeed, taking into account their individuality and the characteristics of the communities.

Pippa Craig:

  • Culturally appropriate and practical information at earlier stage of pregnancy.
  • Engage senior Aboriginal women to support younger women during pregnancy.
  • The importance of involving peer support by members of the Aboriginal community, as well as professional support for this cultural group.
  • Engage younger community mothers who have successfully breastfed to act as role models.

Pat Benton and Beth H. Olson: Even mothers who are intent on breastfeeding and
get support in the hospital, from family, or from programs like the BFI, indicate they do not find the environment outside their home to be supportive of breastfeeding-they even find it to be disapproving. Local breastfeeding coalitions where community partners (i.e., physicians, nurses, Lactation Consultants, business owners, etc.) come together to support breastfeeding have been successful in changing the community atmosphere regarding breastfeeding. Also, mothers find support groups/moms clubs, where they can go and share their experiences and receive support that breastfeeding is the natural way to feed
their babies, a great support system.

After completing your research, what additional factors would you like to see studied as predictors of breastfeeding duration?

Lucía Colodro Conde:  At the moment, we have two lines of research about some factors that, according to preliminary studies, are related to breastfeeding duration and can help to understand and predict it. First, we want to focus on which part of this health behavior is due to differences in genetic configuration and differences in environmental factors among individuals. And second, we aim to analyze the relationships between
psychosocial and personality factors, and the establishment and duration of breastfeeding. We highly support the need of a multidisciplinary approach to this complex behavior.

Pippa Craig:  Further explore psychological factors predicting breastfeeding duration. Introduce and evaluate more culturally acceptable pre-, peri and post-natal services for Aboriginal women.

Pat Benton and Beth H. Olson: We would like to see more work done with populations with low breastfeeding rates, to better understand their particular barriers
such that we might develop targeted support programs. We would also like to see more cost-effectiveness work done on breastfeeding and breastfeeding support that might help us impact public policy and private organizations so they improve breastfeeding support. Research suggests factors that impact breastfeeding in the first day(s) greatly diminish breastfeeding duration; we need to better understand how to provide support in the hospital and in the first days a mother is home with her new baby-including home visiting/follow up care for new mothers.

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Round Table Discussion: Predictors of Breastfeeding (Part One)

Over the past few years, the Journal of Human Lactation has highlighted several research articles that measured factors that directly impact breastfeeding duration.  As health care professionals and lactation consultants, the outcomes of these research projects should inform the way we practice as well as help us to target areas where we can support mothers to increase breastfeeding duration in our communities and countries.

Four authors from around the world have generously offered to share their research and offer recommendations to us based on their findings:

Lucía Colodro Conde, BA, MSc.
Psychologist, Master on Clinical and Health Psychology. Seneca Foundation Research Scholarship. Department of Human Anatomy & Psychobiology. (University of Murcia) Spain.
August 2011: Relationship Between Level of Education and Breastfeeding Duration Depends on Social Context: Breastfeeding Trends Over a 40-Year Period in Spain

Dr. Pippa Craig, Ph.D
Academic Coordinator, Inter-Professional Learning
TheHealth ‘Hubs and Spokes’ Project
ANU COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Australian National University
August, 2011: Initiation and Duration of Breastfeeding in an Aboriginal Community in South Western Sydney

Pat Benton, MS, RD, CLE
Program Manager
Michigan Breastfeeding Initiative
Michigan State University Extension

Beth H. Olson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor; Extension Specialist
Associate Department Chair
Director of Graduate Studies
Food Science; Human Nutrition
Michigan State University
February, 2009: Characteristics Associated With Longer Breastfeeding Duration: An Analysis of a Peer Counseling Support Program

What were the largest factors predicting breastfeeding duration in your study?

Lucía Colodro Conde:  In our study we focused specifically on the mother’s level of education, which has been reported to be related to breastfeeding practices. We analyzed the relationship between this variable and the breastfeeding trends in a region of Spain during a 40 year period, along the second half of the 20th century.  We found that the direction and/or magnitude of the association were not constant across time and level of education, suggesting that other factors may moderate this relationship depending of the social context (i.e., family structure, social support, or working conditions).

Pippa Craig: This study has confirmed that more educated mothers of Australian Aboriginal infants in an outer urban environment, and those intending to breastfeed, were more likely to breastfeed. Intention to breastfeed was the strongest predictor.

Pat Benton and Beth H. Olson: Among low-income mothers we found formula
introduction by day one predicted shorter breastfeeding duration. Many mothers in our studies that identify themselves as breastfeeders still supplement with formula or cereal earlier than recommended. Lack of social support leads to shorter breastfeeding duration; new mothers have no role models for breastfeeding, and rely heavily on support from family who discourage them from breastfeeding. We also found that many working women don’t consider combining breastfeeding and employment-they see these two roles as mutually exclusive. They don’t initiate breastfeeding or wean prior to going back to school or work.

What were the most significant findings in your study?

Lucía Colodro Conde:  Our main finding was that the association between maternal education and breastfeeding is not consistent over time.  Today, a higher level of studies
appears to predict a longer duration of breastfeeding; this has not always been the case.  Among women with fewer school years, breastfeeding duration reduced very early in the period studied and remained at low levels for the rest of the duration. Meanwhile, among women with secondary education or higher, the duration of breastfeeding also reduced
markedly until the 1970s, but then it began to increase steadily until the late 1990s. These trends could change again following societal evolution.

Pippa Craig: Low initiation rates and a rapid decrease in breastfeeding rates. This suggests either a lack of commitment or lack of support to assist new mothers with any
early difficulties with breastfeeding. There was a tendency for mothers to receive antenatal care late in their pregnancy, and there was a lack of adequate and culturally appropriate antenatal/postnatal support services in the area.

Pat Benton and Beth H. Olson: A peer counselor (a breastfeeding mother from the community, trained to provide support and referrals and making home visits) from The Breastfeeding Initiative program of MSU- Extension and WIC, significantly increased breastfeeding rates among low income mothers. This duration is longer even compared to mothers referred to the program but not enrolled (due to overcapacity), showing even among women motivated to find support-those with peer counselors breastfed longer. We found that low income mothers may receive infant feeding advice from several sources (Extension, physicians, nurses, home visiting programs, WIC) and find it conflicting. This contributes to factors, such as early introduction of formula, which may impact breastfeeding duration.

In Part Two, our authors will discuss recommendations for health care professionals and lactation consultants to help increase breastfeeding duration in our communities, as well as potential factors to study in future research projects.

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Thank You!

The editorial staff of Lactation Matters and ILCA would like to take a moment to thank you.  Our first week in the blogosphere has been tremendous, full of excitement and new challenges.  We are sincerely grateful for the outpouring of support that we have received with the launch of this blog.  In one week we had over 2,000 visits and a number of wonderful commenters encouraging us along.  This blog has been created for all of you, to create an ongoing source of community and support for our fellow LC’s.

At times it can be hard to remember how small the world really is, and how connected we are.  While the facilities that we practice at may be different, we are all working towards the same mission.  Our goal with Lactation Matters is create a safe and informative place that LC’s can gather and never feel alone in their profession again.

Quite an ambitious goal that we’ve set for ourselves, to ensure that this blog stays current and meeting your needs we want to encourage you to submit questions, comments, suggestions, and thoughts to lactationmatters@gmail.com.  This blog is your blog and we want to make sure that Lactation Consultants and healthcare professionals working with breastfeeding mothers around the world are having their voices heard.  Stand as one, be united, and let us know what is happening in your own community.

We look forward to what the future holds for our ‘baby’ blog and watching how all of you connect and interact with us.

Again, thank you for subscribing, reading, and sharing. Stay tuned for some exciting posts next week and a poll coming your way this Friday!

Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC, Lactation Matters Editor

Decalie Brown, RN, CM, CFHN, IBCLC, ILCA Director of Marketing

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The Breastfeeding Team

Fathers influence mothers’ breastfeeding decisions and experiences! Fathers’ perceptions of their roles as members of the breastfeeding family are probably important components of that influence. Previous studies asking men directly about their breastfeeding-related roles have predominantly focused on the “dark side” of the father’s experience – particularly their limited ability to nurture and bond with their babies. Our study more fully explored fathers’ experiences by interviewing twenty-one involved fathers of breastfeeding babies about fathering a breastfed baby and about their role in the breastfeeding family.

Fathers identified their unique roles as team members ensuring that their babies received the benefits of breastfeeding. When asked “What is it like to be the father of a breastfeeding baby?” fathers generally focused on the pleasure of knowing that their baby was obtaining the benefits of breastfeeding and their role in supporting the breastfeeding mother. They frequently used the term “we”, suggesting their roles as integral members of the breastfeeding team and characterized themselves as the supporting cast member to the mother’s starring role. One father summed up his role as “…a support person…almost like a checking line as opposed to scoring line. She’s doing the big good stuff and I’m just supporting her to get that done.”

A primary fathering role was supporting breastfeeding by learning about breastfeeding both with the mother and independently. Some fathers became the mother’s memory when she could not take in all the advice she was being given and others used their knowledge of breastfeeding resources to encourage mothers seek out professional breastfeeding support when needed. As well, many fathers supported breastfeeding by sharing housework and childcare and some provided assistance “in the breastfeeding moment” by facilitating mothers’ comfort during breastfeeding or assisting with the use of breastfeeding equipment.  Perhaps most importantly, fathers supported the breastfeeding mother by valuing her and by trusting, respecting, and supporting her personal choices.

Fathers insisted that being the father of a breastfeeding baby was not unique in general, but they often identified their own special ways of nurturing and fostering positive father-infant relationships as they “waited their turn” to bond with their babies through feeding. Some fathers chose to be involved while the mother was breastfeeding so that they could bond while the infant “is still in the feeding zone.” Others developed rituals for spending time with baby or found their own masculine way of nurturing, such as holding their infant with their strong arms and talking to the infant in their deeper voice. These supportive and nurturing behaviors were not seen as compensating for the “dark side” of breastfeeding, but as important contributions in their own right.

Many fathers want to be involved in the lives of their breastfeeding children. Health care providers should be encouraged to acknowledge fathers as members of the breastfeeding team and engage fathers in learning about breastfeeding and the many possible forms of breastfeeding support. Each father should be encouraged to communicate with his partner about her goals and desires for breastfeeding and regularly negotiate the type and amount of involvement both parents want the father to have. We suggest that fathers should be presented with the range of possible supportive behaviors and empowered to explore and determine their own unique roles as an integral part of the feeding process in which, although they may be the “supporting actor” and the mother the “star”, both roles are essential and worthy of acclaim.

Lynn Rempel, RN, PhD

Associate Professor, Chair,

Department of Nursing

Brock University

lrempel@brocku.ca

Rempel LA, Rempel, JK. The Breastfeeding Team: The Role of Seo Services Involved Fathers in the Breastfeeding Family J Hum Lact. 2011:27;115-121.

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