Presentation Information

Maya Vasquez

Understanding Cultural Humility for Better Support of Breastfeeding Mothers

  • Speaker: Maya Vasquez , MS, RN, IBCLC
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU

Cultural humility proposes that health care providers engage in a life-long process of self-reflection and learning in order to better understand the multifaceted identities of their clients. The concept was first described by Tervalon and Murray-Garcia as a reply to the more common concept of cultural competence. Cultural humility suggests that rather than attempting to memorize the myriad practices and beliefs of the many clients, providers to see themselves as students of their patients and allow the patient to guide the provider in creating the best plan of care for each individual. For example, among lactation consultants in the United States there is a commonly held belief that Latino mothers prefer to both breast and bottle feed, leading many lactation consultants to believe that this community will never exclusively breastfeed. This may lead to decreased educational efforts directed at the Latino community, since they may be seen as futile, and may affect the long-term health of vulnerable communities. This presentation will explore the concept of cultural humility, and discuss how lactation consultants may use it to better appreciate the multi-dimensionality of each client’s individual experience.