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I had no idea that moms were taking their breastfeeding concerns and problems, in such large numbers, to social media.
I live in a breastfeeding bubble.
The hospital where I work has a 98% breastfeeding initiation rate. We are a Baby-Friendly designated hospital. There are two other Baby-Friendly hospitals nearby, and a third that is working towards becoming one.
If you are not familiar with what Baby-Friendly refers to, read this article:
In my city of about 100,00 people, there are 2 or 3 breastfeeding support groups. There are numerous lactation consultants, both at the hospital and in private practice. Overall, there is excellent support for breastfeeding, and moms don’t have to go far to get professional advice and help.
It’s not like that everywhere though. I understand that.
When I started this blog, I joined several Facebook groups and started being an avid Pinterest user. My goals were two-fold. I wanted to get the word out about my blog, and I also wanted to see what was breastfeeding moms concerns are. My foray into social media and breastfeeding has been eye-opening. Most of the Facebook groups won’t let me mention my blog. However, the problems that moms bring to Social Media and some of the suggestions on how to deal with them were shocking to me. I imagine the variety of answers must be confusing to most moms. “Do this!” or “Try that!”
Don’t get me wrong. The mother-to-mother support is fantastic. It just worries me when a mom posts a picture of a breast that screams mastitis and asks what it is and moms are giving her advice that just isn’t accurate or sometimes even helpful. As a professional, I have to be careful about what I say. That time, I did say, “See a doctor ASAP!”
Pinterest has some great pins, with great information and suggestions, but again, anyone can say anything. Some of the pins I read are not the best information.
Be careful about what you’re reading on Social Media. If it’s a medical issue, get a professional’s advice. With the internet, it’s buyer beware. Fortunately, educated people are out there.
They just may not be on your favorite Facebook group.
Andrea Tran RN, MA, IBCLC
Andrea has been working with new families as an RN for over 35 years and a Lactation Consultant for over 25 years.
She has her MA in Health and Wellness with a focus in Lactation.