The Virtual Breastfeeding Culture, a new book by Praeclarus Press, Shows How Mothers Use Social Media to Find The Support They Need

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New mothers often receive very little help once they leave the hospital and many encounter problems, such as breastfeeding difficulties, sleep deprivation, depression, and just plain loneliness. In a new book from Praeclarus Press, the Virtual Breastfeeding Culture, author Lara Audelo, shows how new mothers use the Internet, and more specifically, social media, to find the help and support they need.

New mothers are leveraging social-media platforms to get the help they need.

Many new mothers find that they receive little support once they give birth, and soon discover that life with a new baby is hard. Mothers are usually sleep deprived and may be having breastfeeding problems.They may feel like they don't know what they are doing, and as a result, they are often overwhelmed by the demands of new motherhood. In addition, many new mothers are socially isolated, and as a result, lonely.

A new book from Praeclarus Press,The Virtual Breastfeeding Culture, describes how the traditional sources of support for postpartum women, such as extended families or networks of friends who also have babies, do not exist for many new mothers. A woman may live thousands of miles away from her family, and her friends may also feel overwhelmed with their own responsibilities and are not in a position where they can offer any real help. Given this situation, should we be surprised when mothers have problems in the postpartum period? They may become depressed or anxious, and they may stop breastfeeding after only a few days or weeks.

For a substantial proportion of mothers, the bleak scenario described above is the reality. But it doesn't have to be this way. An increasing percentage of new mothers have found a viable "work around" to their lack of support. They have turned to social media. As author Lara Audelo notes,

In the last decade, the emergence of widely used social-media platforms has forever changed how we live in our world: everything is instant and we are always connected. We are never far away from anyone, even if they are literally half a world away. As a breastfeeding mother, the ability to get the answers we need in real time can make all the difference in helping you achieve your breastfeeding goals.

In the Virtual Breastfeeding Culture, author Lara Audelo chronicles the stories of 30 mothers who all found the help they needed online. New mothers in this book described how they used social- media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, along with websites and blogs to find advice, encouragement, practical support, and even friendship 24/7, no matter where they are.

Danielle Riggs and Bettina Forbes, of the Best for Babes Foundation, noted that "Today's mothers need untraditional ways to find a tribe of like-minded women to help them navigate the myriad cultural, legal, and institutional barriers that seek to undermine them.....Virtual Breastfeeding Support is a clarion call to change the way we support expecting and new mothers, and is a valuable addition to the breastfeeding-support library!"

The Virtual Breastfeeding Culture is available from Praeclarus Press or Praeclarus Press is a small press specializing in women's health.

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