Motivational Interviewing for Native Women: Breastfeeding
Providers can make a difference! Studies show that women respond to your encouragement. Motivational interviewing is an effective means to convey your message while also being empathetic to the particular experience and challenges of your patients.
- Bring up the topic of breastfeeding at clinic visits throughout a women’s lifecycle.
- When doing prenatal visits (beginning in the 1st trimester), make sure to talk about breastfeeding at every visit. The more breastfeeding is discussed during pregnancy the more likely the women is to breastfeed her child.
- Begin with questions that elicit the experience of the patient
- What do you know about breastfeeding?
- How did you feed your other babies?
- If she breastfed before, acknowledge the beauty of that gift she gave to her child. Ask more about her experience
- How long did you breastfeed?
- Tell me about your experience?
- Why did you stop?
- Were your family and friends supportive?
- What were the challenges?
- What did you like about it?
- If she has formula fed before ask what informed that decision
- What made you choose formula feeding?
- Are you open to spending some time talking about how breastfeeding may work better for you and your baby this time?
- Did you know that breastfeeding is healthier for you and your baby?
- Ask about her experience of breastfeeding in her family and tribe. Learn the local customs around nursing and common fears and misconceptions.
- Tell me about your tribes breastfeeding practices?
- What do women in your community say about breastfeeding? Elders? Friends, Aunts?
- Encourage partners and family members to attend prenatal visits so they can be educated along with your prenatal patients. Their support is important to success
- Find out if she has a personal or family history of diseases linked with lower rates of breastfeeding. Then you can let her know how she can decrease her child’s risk just be breastfeeding. Diabetes and obesity are more prevalent in Native communities. Let her know how she will be helping to prevent these illnesses just by nursing her baby.
- Give handouts and resources that are right for the native populations in your area.
- Have incentives for women to go to Prenatal Breastfeeding classes and then host some in your office or area or give her information of about local availability
- Seek out patients particular concerns and address them thoughtfully and repeatedly. Remember that breastfeeding education is an important part of your work as a provider.