World Breastfeeding Week will be celebrated worldwide 1-7 August 2014. Infant feeding is one of the most important decisions a family can make and most women who choose to breastfeed have a specific goal in mind. Research shows that babies who received only breast milk for the first six months of life are less likely to develop chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases, asthma, obesity and respiratory illnesses. Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding with a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers. (ILCA)
Any amount of breast milk we give our babies is a win for mom, baby and public health. Mothers who are successful at meeting their breastfeeding goals are more likely to be surrounded by a supportive team of family, friends, coworkers, employers, healthcare providers, childcare providers and other members of the community. (ILCA)
I see a lot of moms in my workaday, and most want to breastfeed. Yet they struggle with an internal conversation that questions “….IF I can breastfeed…” Somehow they aren’t sure that they can trust their bodies and their capabilities. Breastfeeding is “the normal”. The perception over the last fifty years has been that formula is somehow the same or better than breast milk. No man-made or engineered substance is the equivalent to human breast milk. My co-workers and I spend a lot of time with our moms, coaching and counseling, being there for and with our patients. Together, the breastfeeding team provides information to boost confidence, gives reassurance and lends a hand to help breastfeeding mothers succeed.
In celebration of this important topic, we are offering to all pregnant women and women with babies these FREE events:
- A free class on Preparing for Breastfeeding, devoted to Mom and her support person/s to promote a positive breast feeding experience both in the hospital and after going home. This event is August 9 from 12:30pm – 3:30pm in the hospital auditorium.
- A free Breastfeeding Support Group that occurs the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:30pm. All pregnant women and women with babies are welcome to attend this support group. Topics include: Breastfeeding techniques, education and facts, benefits to the baby, making new friends with other breastfeeding moms and asking questions of one of our International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. Moms learn from one another and from community resources that periodically provide a short presentation for the group. The group meets in the Medical Office Building next door to the hospital, suite 320.
I encourage any new mother to register for one or all of these events by calling (727) 341-4055 or registering online at www.StPeteGeneral.com. Children are welcome.
One of the reasons I became a Lactation Consultant was because I wanted to give moms the help that I never got when I had my first baby. This path is more rewarding than I ever could have imagined it to be. It is an important job because the help and care we give our patients to reach their breastfeeding goals is something that will impact them, their children, their families and friends for the rest of their lives. We know that as lactation consultants, but the families we help may not realize the impact until the children are much older. We love to see the look on the moms faces when she is successful and the realization of achievement when she “gets it”. All the benefits, doing the right thing etc..... fade away with the awesome feeling of being right with what she is doing, that not only did she give life to this beautiful child, but she is also giving the very best assistance to her baby that she can for their entire life. They are together; this is how it is meant to be. It is powerful, it is real, and it is good.
Breastfeeding IS a Winning Goal---For Life!
Janice E. Floystad, IBCLC-R
Lactation Consultant at St. Petersburg General Hospital
(ILCA) International Lactation Consultant Association