Global Initiative for Mother Support (GIMS) for Breastfeeding is a global initiative that focuses on women's needs and rights to adequate and accurate information, support and health care services before, during and after childbirth. The initiative takes a holistic view of women's reproductive cycle, and promotes various measures to help mothers and their infants experience optimal breastfeeding.
As defined by GIMS, mother support is any support provided to mothers for the purpose of improving breastfeeding practices for both mother and baby. The support needed varies from woman to woman but generally includes encouragement, accurate and timely information, humane care during childbirth, advice, reassurance, affirmation, hands-on assistance, and practical tips.
Moral and social support is needed from many persons in different places. Women need the support of professional health providers, employers, friends, family and the community. Conditions need to be created during pregnancy, birth and lactation so that women can safely carry healthy babies to term and give birth in the company of those they select to share this experience. Employed women should receive support for practicing exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding after the introduction of complementary foods.