New education package for successful breastfeeding

New education package for successful breastfeeding

Breast engorgement affects 55 per cent of breastfeeding mothers in Australia and is a common reason for discontinuing breastfeeding. Mater mums who experience this condition can now benefit from a new education package available through the Mater Mothers’ Breastfeeding Support Centre.

The education package was developed by Mater Lactation Consultant Loretta Anderson to provide best practice management of breast engorgement, particularly within the critical first month of breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding rates drop from 96 per cent to 61 per cent in the first month, often due to difficulties in breastfeeding such as engorgement,” Loretta said.

“The hospital stay is an opportunity to work with mothers and provide education so they can continue breastfeeding beyond the first hurdles and reach their breastfeeding goals.

“Breastfeeding is a new skill for mothers and part of the education package is about learning how their breasts work, trusting them and knowing how to resolve problems.”

The evidence-based education package is aimed at Mater midwives and lactation consultants to ensure the delivery of consistent, best practice information to breastfeeding mothers.

Loretta developed the education package as part of a clinical fellowship she undertook through Mater’s Nursing Research Centre.

“I reviewed the knowledge of staff and mothers, and adherence to best practice, before and after implementing the education package. The results showed an improvement in education and the management of breast engorgement,” Loretta said.

“Mothers also reported an increase in confidence in breastfeeding due to receiving more consistent advice about breastfeeding and breast engorgement. We’re encouraged that this will assist more mothers in continuing to breastfeed.”

Loretta has been accepted to present a paper about the education package and her clinical fellowship at next week’s International Breastfeeding Conference in Florida, USA. Congratulations, Loretta!

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