Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Do hospital *swag bags* help mothers to breastfeed?

Do hospital swag bags help moms to breastfeed?
Not in their present form!

I really like the idea of bags for ALL mothers being free of formula samples and related gear/advertisements/coupons.

I do NOT like the idea of those bags carrying products which intimate that they are *essential equipment* for nursing mothers. According to the website,
they contain these items:
* The cool, handy bags
* Samples of nursing pads, breastmilk storage bags, lactation tea, and other goodies.
* Info and coupons from companies such as Lansinoh, Bravado! Designs, Ergo, BebeAuLait, and My Brest Friend.

So what is the message they are sending?
That mothers will need THINGS to stop them leaking, make enough milk, cure their sore nipples hide their breasts (and babies) while nursing and even to enable them to nurse (pillows).

While some mothers will find some of these products useful, we tend to forget that mothers already have all the breastfeeding equipment they need. These other products often hinder rather than help, especially if they are not used appropriately.

What new mothers REALLY need is access to current, research-based information. We need to make sure they know who to call for help - LLL Leaders, WIC breastfeding coordinators/ peer counselors, IBCLCs, etc. These people can tell them where to get breast pumps or other aids, as
needed. In other words, they need a resource list. I would also like to see mothers to go home with SIMPLE baby care instructions and charts they can fill out to show poops, pees and feedings.

Most of the mothers who stop breastfeeding do so in the first few days. They have no idea what to really expect and are easily overwhelmed. Even mothers who have read all the books and have seen other family members and friends nurse have a hard time coping with a new baby.
Getting them over this hump is the thing to do.

1 comment:

barbara said...

What these bags need to have in them is a copy of LLLI's magazine, New Beginnings :)