BOX 10Communication and support skills

Listening and learning

  • Use helpful non-verbal communication.
  • Ask open questions.
  • Use responses and gestures which show interest.
  • Reflect back what the mother says.
  • Empathize – show that you understand how she feels.
  • Avoid words which sound judging.

Building confidence and giving support

  • Accept what a mother thinks and feels.
  • Recognize and praise what a mother and infant are doing right.
  • Give practical help.
  • Give a little, relevant information.
  • Use simple language.
  • Make one or two suggestions (e.g. small “do-able” actions), not commands

From: SESSION 5, Continuing support for infant and young child feeding

Cover of Infant and Young Child Feeding
Infant and Young Child Feeding: Model Chapter for Textbooks for Medical Students and Allied Health Professionals.
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