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Breastfeeding group assists new mothers

Posted: August 6, 2009 9:58 p.m.
Updated: August 7, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia provides a weekly support group open to all lactating mothers with newborns up to three months old.

 

Raising awareness about the importance of breastfeeding is a priority for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital’s Lactation Services team. In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, 2009, activities scheduled by the lactation team will draw attention to the theme “Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response—Are You Ready?”

“Breastfeeding is always important for a baby’s health,” said Jolli Bernier, IBCLC, lactation specialist at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. “But in an emergency, breastfeeding can save a baby’s life.”

In emergencies such as those brought on by a natural disaster, infants can be the most vulnerable. Infections and disease are rampant in the aftermath of an emergency, and clean water may not always be readily available.

Breast milk is free, instantly available, does not need to be sterilized, and contains the right balance of nutrients to protect infants against some common childhood illnesses and infections.

“Breastfeeding is calming to both mother and baby at any time, but all the more so during an emergency,” said Mary Beth Sweet, IBCLC. “It comforts and makes the baby feel secure.”

Because an emergency can happen at anytime and anywhere, Henry Mayo’s lactation team stresses the importance of maintaining and supporting breastfeeding of infants before an emergency occurs.

“We’re hoping that more and more people will put breastfeeding into their care plans before an emergency occurs,” says Sweet.  The benefits of breastfeeding have been established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Along with other medical organizations, WHO recommends that babies exclusively breastfeed for at least six months of life and continue breastfeeding for at least one year.  

The AAP believes that breast milk is the optimal form of nutrition for infants and helps reduce the risk for childhood obesity and infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Henry Mayo offers a First Weeks Breastfeeding support group to address breastfeeding issues and provide a place where mothers can meet other mothers of young infants and discuss related topics, such as growth spurts, developmental milestones, and sleep issues.

Other lacatation services available include a prenatal breastfeeding workshop, inpatient and outpatient bedside assistance and follow-up care, critical information on tools and products, as well as solutions to breastfeeding problems.

The weekly support group is open to all lactating mothers with newborns up to three months old.  

The support group meets Thursdays from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the ARU Dining Room in Henry Mayo Hospital’s Pavilion.  Cost is $10 per person.  

To learn more about Henry Mayo’s Lactation Services, call (661) 253-8238 or visit www.henrymayo.com.

 

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