As in USA, breastfeeding rates in Italy are far from international recommendations. A 2016 peer-reviewed article reports that 92% Italian mothers initiate breastfeeding at hospital discharge, but only 5% are exclusively breastfeeding at the recommended 6 months. The article concludes: “Actions should aim at empowering women, reducing social inequalities, and improving practices in hospitals and maternal care services which encourage breastfeeding.”
Participants in our HUG class believe that misunderstanding NORMAL baby behavior is one important reason mothers abandon breastfeeding. Italian colleagues were excited that “The Roadmap” information and handout might improve this data. One colleague is interested in translating the Roadmap E-Newsletters and conduct research on the impact of this resource on breastfeeding duration. Yippee!
Watching HUG Your Baby in action is always a highlight of a HUG training. We had the opportunity to meet two families and hear how The HUG can make a difference. Our first family had the opportunity to attend Benedetta’s HUG Your Baby class for pregnant couples. She was quick to share that being a new mom was even harder than she anticipated. But, HUG Your Baby gave her ideas on how to understand her baby’s body language. Baby’s father has become an expert at that all-important face-to-face interaction with his son.
Our second family whose baby was born 6 weeks early had important questions about their growing and developing baby. Why is their baby crying more now and when will he sleep a bit more at night? The little boy had been stooling 5 times a day, but now only has a 1-2 stools a day. This baby gave us the chance to see how “The Roadmap” information is critical to boosting the confidence of new parents. Workshop participants remember that healthy babies can cry a bit more at about 2-6 weeks after their due date and, that the change in mother’s breastmilk composition will normally decrease baby’s daily stools at about this age.
What a great joy to watch a father discover his baby’s ability to engage with the world around him. Seeing this baby look at a moving toy or turn to hear a shaking rattle was especially important to this family. I couldn’t help but notice a few HUG participants tear up at observing the power of seeing the HUG Strategy, “See, then Share” in action!-->