Breastfeeding Support Groups: What Are They?

Breastfeeding support groups offer advice and wisdom to new mothers, often with the benefit of maternal experience. In addition to talks, the groups offer physical and psychological exercises.
Breastfeeding Support Groups: What Are They?

Last update: 06 January, 2019

Breastfeeding support groups are social collectives that offer wisdom, experience and mutual support to first-time mothers. In this article, we’ll take a look at what these groups do.

Imagine a collective that helps you prepare to breastfeed your future child. Currently, these initiatives are providing real benefits to expectant mothers.

While breastfeeding is natural, many new mothers have doubts regarding the initial challenges, and breastfeeding support groups are there to make the process as easy as possible.

What are breastfeeding support groups?

These collectives can be defined as women’s associations that support first-time mothers with respect to breastfeeding. It’s an enormous help to any woman who doesn’t know how to breastfeed or is afraid of the prospect.

These groups hold meetings where the members share their experiences and perform exercises. Each woman tells her personal stories, psychologically preparing the new members for the challenges that lay ahead.

The groups touch on topics such as what breastfeeding feels like and how long it takes, among other details. The ultimate goal is for all the mothers to overcome their personal fears and prejudices.

Breastfeeding Support Groups: What Are They?

Breastfeeding support groups: meeting a real social need

It all started in the mid-80s when UNICEF and the World Health Organization began to study the subject of breastfeeding. Although this is a natural maternal practice, many issues were discovered.

The research also determined that education and support groups had an impact on breastfeeding. From there, both internationally renowned organizations began to promote the creation of such groups.

Their first project was the Initiative for the Humanization of Birth Assistance and Breastfeeding. Subsequently, it was established that education, medical supervision and advice from women were all beneficial to the practice of breastfeeding.

Characteristics of breastfeeding support groups

  • Participants: the groups always consist of women with breastfeeding experience. They create a volunteer service to counsel first-time mothers who are seeking help.
  • No charge: as non-profit organizations, these groups’ activities are available for free. Their activities are subsidized by donations from the mothers themselves, international organizations and governments.
  • Location: generally speaking, the meetings take place in public spaces provided by hospitals and public institutions. These places become educational centers for young mothers.

How to organize a breastfeeding support group

As with any organization, creating this kind of group generally requires effort, time and money. Firstly, it’s important to establish the group’s vision and mission. Creating an identity is also important in terms of the cooperative work involved.

Secondly, you need to find a place to hold the meetings, create the schedules, and seek out financial assistance. The latter is perhaps the most complicated aspect. The good news is that you can present these initiatives to hospitals, public institutions and non-governmental organizations.

You must also put a considerable amount of planning into the group, designating specific tasks to each member. Social networks are useful outreach tools. They allow you to connect with people and begin your promotional efforts.

Breastfeeding Support Groups: What Are They?

Families can participate

Even though the groups mostly consist of mothers advising other mothers, the whole family can benefit from the meetings.

For example, there are groups that offer activities aimed at the mothers’ partners and other family members. In addition, the women can almost always invite a family member of their choosing.

Furthermore, these groups grow through the members’ friend networks. Past participants almost always bring friends and relatives who are also seeking advice.

In summary, breastfeeding support groups provide valuable support for women preparing for the challenges of motherhood. These vital initiatives provide wonderful resources through talks, education and shared experience.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.