Chest-Clutching Care

Unless it’s my weight, I love measuring things. Over the years of parenting, our home has been filled with sticker charts, graphs and containers to measure kids’ progress in everything—bed-making, piano-playing, even underwear-changing. (I need another blog for that one!)

Baby-Friendly USA recommends beginning data collection during the second of the 3 to 5 years it takes to earn the designation. Oh no, no, no.  We started right away.

As much as I love and value data, my instinct has always been to focus on what cannot be measured. When a teacher teaches, each lesson needs a measurable objective. OK, fine. That’s true.  “At the end of this lesson, participants will be able to list … describe … demonstrate … perform …”  The objective has to be an observable action which can be measured. But I believe if the educator stops there, she’s missing the heart of the lesson.

Now clutch your chest and ask yourself, “What do I reeeeally want for my class … my patients … my kids …?” Most of the time the answer to this question is not measurable.  Taking breastfeeding for example, my measurable goal for patients is exclusive breastfeeding, but my-clutch-my-chest-goal is that women will feel like this: “I am rock star mother, top of the earth; I’ve got this motherhood thing licked, glowing Wonder Woman, maker of milk, no one can beat me now!!!!!”

I can hear my critics saying, “Well that’s pretty fluffy and unattainable.” Yes it is! Heart, goals, drive, passion and most importantly connection. I think that’s what people really need, a heart connection—to know someone really cares for them and wants the best for them. No matter what your job description, people need you, and they need to know you clutch-your-chest-really-care.


About blogtobabyfriendly

blogtobabyfriendly is written by Amy Murray, a Childbirth Unit nurse with a touch of earth muffin crunch. A childbirth educator and IBCLC, she's been a breastfeeding advocate all her adult life, believing that if our bodies make milk, it just makes good sense to feed it to our babies. blogtobabyfriendly is her hospital's journey to Baby-Friendly designation. Click to get email updates on new blog posts. Our desire is to learn, share, and learn more.
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3 Responses to Chest-Clutching Care

  1. Patty De Stefano says:

    Amy – what a great blog!! Why not reach for the stars? Thank you for a wonderful message. We want moms to leave our hospital confident. Absolutely!! We are changing lives and I am so proud of the work being done. Way to go!!

  2. Amanda S. says:

    I am an exclusive breast feeder! My 7 mo old has probably only had formula twice in her life. I feel very strongly about this, although my husband thinks I am crazy I do not care..obviously I want the best for her even if it is inconvient for us at times. Anyways my point being why not reach for the stars..never in a million years did I ever think I would feel so strongly about breastfeeding and look at me know. I breast fed my son exculsively for 13 months and plan on doing the same for my daughter.

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