Facilitators of Change Nutrition/Behavior Counseling

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The Counseling Strategy

Each client and each problem requires a unique response. However, there are three initial steps that work with all of them because they are designed to counteract the lack of confidence and lack of knowledge that are at the root of these women’s fears and doubts. These three basic steps are:

*Step 1: Listen to Mother’s Concerns

Many women need help in sorting out their feelings, and we can help by making them feel as comfortable as possible in sharing their concerns with us. That’s why it’s extremely important to begin by asking open-ended questions that encourage women to explore their views on breastfeeding.

*Step 2: Acknowledge Her Feelings

Once we know the real sources of a woman’s reluctance to breastfeed, we need to acknowledge her fears, and reassure her that these feelings are normal and not uncommon. Showing her you appreciate and understand her concerns will help her to trust you and feel safe talking with you.

*Step 3: Educate

Now that you have identified her feelings and expressed your acceptance and approval, you’re ready to educate by giving her accurate information that deals with her fears and misconceptions. Knowledge is power. It will enable her to ignore the misinformation she’s received from other sources and trust what you tell her. However, be especially careful not to present too much new information too quickly; it could actually reinforce her fears or make breastfeeding look difficult or complicated.

  1. Using the Counseling Strategy to Address the Barriers

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