Presentation Information

Katrien Nauwelaerts

Young Mothers and Breastfeeding in Belgium (Recording Only)

  • Speaker: Katrien Nauwelaerts , BA, MA, IBCLC
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 45 Mins
  • Credits: 0.75 CERP, 0.75 Nursing CEU, 0.75 CME, 0.05 Midwifery CEU, 0.75 Dietetic CEU

Teenage mothers are perfectly able to breastfeed. Yet fewer young mothers initiate
breastfeeding compared with older mothers. And the ones who start with breastfeeding
switch more often over to formula during the first month postpartum.
Young mothers are more often influenced by their environment (family, friends) in their
feeding choice:
- Myths and prejudices about breastfeeding,
- Shame or fear of breastfeeding in public,
- Concerns about how to combine school and work,
- Latch-on- or pump problems.
Lack of confidence and low self-esteem are common in this group, so they often get
overruled by adults (grandparents, teachers, health workers) who "just want to help them"
and give formula advice.
Proper information, preferably in the form of peer counseling, is necessary to raise
breastfeeding rates among those youngsters.
Practical information is necessary, adapted to their specific situation of still-developing
adolescents and young mothers. Also needed, is awareness of the persons who will assist
in the education of her child: partner, mother, a good friend.
Training of healthcare workers and schoolteachers may also be needed, to clean up
prejudices about teenage-parenting and to ensure that she will be treated in a
breastfeeding-friendly way. If she can finish her education she gets more job
The school infrastructure, school curriculum, teachers and childcare-facilities have to be
flexible enough to support the choice to combine education and breastfeeding at the same
Support and proper information throughout pregnancy and during the first six weeks
postpartum are crucial to make breastfeeding more likely to succeed. But ideally,
awareness occurs even though before a teenager is pregnant: as part of the health
education in schools!

Pre-Recorded Presentation