At lactation motivation we provide evidence based information so that you can make informed choices about feeding your baby. Although sometimes we do recommend and advise certain courses of action, what we advise will be based on the evidence available to us at the time. We will always fully explain why we have recommended something.
If you are a peer supporter, giving advice should not be taken lightly. Please spend a few minutes thinking about the following points:
Everyone has their own experiences, beliefs and upbringing. The person you are advising may not have the same ones as you. In which case advice will 'fall on deaf ears'. Ask the question 'What do you know about breastfeeding?' and go from there.
Advice may cause conflict if its not evidence based. Make sure you know your stuff.
Being too prescriptive can also be problematic so always offer a complete explanation. Just because one way worked for you doesn't mean it will work for others. Provide all solutions.
Question... Is giving the advise trying to fix a problem for someone? Often it is not your problem to fix so allow time for the mother to work it out themselves through support.
Advise may be a quick solution when actually a person needs to be listened to. Give them time to talk.
Quick advice to a complex problem can show impatience.
Providing advice may undermine a persons confidence and self-esteem. Give some information but not too much and allow them time to be heard.
Understand the whole situation. The issue that they came with may not be the most important issue, but everyone needs to start somewhere.
You are not the only person advising so please ask what else they have been told and de-bunk any myths. Ultimately the mother listens to a lot of other people and time with you is brief.
Don't tell a person how they are feeling, ask how they are feeling.
There are different levels of anxiety. Just because you didn't feel anxious doesn't mean other won't.
Try to motivate, inspire, encourage, value and appreciate other mothers. HINT: You can only do this by listening.