World Breastfeeding Week
By: Alisha Nims, BSN RN
August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7. Breastfeeding provides many benefits for both mom and baby. Deciding how to feed your baby is a personal choice. Our Birthing Center team at Fisher-Titus is here to support you on your breastfeeding journey.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
In addition to being a special way to bond, breastfeeding reduces the risk of many diseases for both mother and baby.
The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breastmilk help keep your baby healthy. This protection is unique to your baby and will change to meet your babies needs as they grow. Research shows that breastfed babies have lower risks of:
- Childhood leukemia
- Childhood obesity
- Ear infections
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Lower respiratory infections
- Necrotizing enterocolitis (a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in premature babies)
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Type 2 diabetes
Babies aren’t the only ones who benefit from breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can help mom’s health and healing after childbirth as well. It leads to a lower risk of the following health problems in mothers:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain types of breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers
While breastfeeding is a great way to feed your baby, it’s not always easy. It takes some learning for both mom and baby and it may take time before you get into a comfortable routine. As you embark on your journey, a good support system is important.
At Fisher-Titus, we have a caring team of Birthing Center staff that support moms in our community with their breastfeeding questions and concerns. All of our Birthing Center staff have had additional training to assist breastfeeding families, with several staff nurses advancing their education to become Certified Breastfeeding Counselors or Certified Lactation Counselors, the premier national certification in lactation management in the U.S. We also have an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) on staff.
All these staff members are able to support breastfeeding moms in assessing the latching and feeding process, helping with corrective interventions, counseling mothers, and understanding and applying knowledge of milk production. Most importantly, they are a caring source of support for moms as they navigate their new journey in feeding their newborn.
In 2019, Fisher-Titus earned recognition from Ohio’s First Steps for Healthy Babies and was awarded Maternity Care Best Practice Award 2018 for our efforts to encourage and support breastfeeding mothers. We were also honored to be recognized by Newsweek as a Best Maternity Care Hospital for the exceptional care we provide to mothers, newborns, and their families for 2020 and 2021.
While our education programs are currently on hold due to COVID-19, we normally offer several options for both prenatal and postnatal mothers. These include Baby Boot Camp, Childbirth Education Express, and Breastfeeding Support Group. We do still offer one-on-one follow up lactation visits to patients after discharge from the hospital.
Fisher-Titus is also part of the Firelands Area Breastfeeding Alliance which will be hosting a World Breastfeeding Week Celebration & Big Latch On Event Saturday, August 7. This year’s event will be celebrated in-person event at Osborn Park in Huron as well as with a virtual event. The Global Big Latch On takes place around the world with women gathering to breastfeed and offer support to each other. Visit Firelands Area Breastfeeding Alliance on Facebook for more information.
Alisha Nims, BSN RN is the manager of Obstetrics at Fisher-Titus. For more information about the Fisher-Titus Birthing Center, visit fishertitus.org/birthing-center.