Stockbridge, Ga. (August 2, 2013) – Piedmont Henry is observing World Breastfeeding Week by highlighting the importance of providing support to breastfeeding families with its theme Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers.
As one of seven hospitals in the state of Georgia participating in the Best Fed Beginnings, a first-of-its-kind national initiative to improve breastfeeding rates in states where rates are currently the lowest, Piedmont Henry supports the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) in its effort to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding through its coordination of World Breastfeeding Week.
“Breastfeeding has multiple health benefits for both infants and mothers,” said Gayle Owen, RN, IBCLC at Piedmont Henry. “For infants, it decreases the incidence and severity of many infectious diseases, reduces infant mortality, and optimally supports neurodevelopment. For mothers, breastfeeding decreases the risks of breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.”
For mothers wanting to breastfeed, there can be barriers that keep them from doing so. Support and encouragement can make success possible.
“It is critical that breastfeeding families be supported by their community,” said Elizabeth Brooks, president of the International Lactation Consultant Association®. “This support can be expressed by healthcare providers adopting policies and practices that assume breastfeeding as the normal feeding method for infants, by employers providing a private place and flexible work options to express breast milk during the work day, or by childcare providers talking to new families about how they support breastfeeding.”
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC) work in communities and can provide a wealth of knowledge to breastfeeding families. An IBCLC is a certified healthcare professional with special knowledge and experience assisting breastfeeding families. Piedmont Henry Hospital has been recognized for its excellence in lactation care as the hospital currently has three IBCLCs providing support to breastfeeding mothers.
Piedmont Henry lactation consultants will be at the Babies ‘R Us Breastfeeding Expo at the McDonough store on Hwy 20 from noon to 3 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, August 3.
For more information about the services offered at Piedmont Henry, visit piedmonthenry.org.