The Road to Lifelong Health Begins with Breastfeeding
At Nathan Littauer’s Birthing Center, breastfeeding is not only an important part of the birthing experience; it is also a cause for celebration. In honor of 2012 World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7, 2012 the hospital is celebrating “Understanding the Past—Planning the Future: Celebrating 10 years of WHO/UNICEF’s Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding.” Hospital Spokeswoman Cheryl McGrattan states, “Throughout the hospital, and our Primary and Specialty Care Centers, there will be activities promoting families who choose to breastfeed.” Nancy Quinlan, an International Board Certificated Lactation Consultant at Littauer explains, “We want everyone to know there is support for every family who decides to breastfeed.” Nancy believes the road to lifelong health is not one for mothers and babies to travel alone. “Successful breastfeeding begins with support of families, health care providers, governments, employers and communities,” said Nancy Quinlan. She concluded, “That is why we are publicly celebrating the importance of breastfeeding this week.”
According to the Birthing Center at Nathan Littauer, Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) like Nancy can help navigate the way to successful breastfeeding and ultimately to sustained health. The hospital is planning a week long celebration starting Wednesday August 1st with an information table at the hospital all week, a raffle and an evening celebration called, “Sweet Celebration of Breastfeeding 2012”. Any community member who is interested in breastfeeding for themselves or for someone close to them is encouraged to come. Mothers, children and parents who decided to breastfeed are welcome to come as well. The event will be held at the hospital on August 6, 2012 at 99 East State Street from 6-8pm. For more information about that event or World Breastfeeding Week or IBCLCs, please call 773-5710.
According to the International Lactation Consultant Association: Research shows that infants who are not exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life are also more likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases and conditions including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and respiratory illnesses. In addition, mothers who do not breastfeed are at an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Keeping breastfeeding high on the public health agenda is critical to improving global health. Early and exclusive breastfeeding with the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding around six months of age ensures that both mothers and infants receive maximum health benefits. The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, jointly developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), serves as a roadmap toward a renewed commitment to exclusive breastfeeding beginning in the first hour of birth to achieve optimal health outcomes. The Global Strategy is celebrating 10 years of guiding infant feeding in 2012.