World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. Here at SMH we are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7th with a host of both fun and educational activities centered on this year’s theme: Breastfeeding: A winning goal for life! Included in the activities are trivia games, raffles with fabulous prizes, participation in a contest for a door decorating contest, (hoping for a win in the “Most Creative” category), educational displays for both staff and our delivering couples, and of course, tasty treats for our hard working nursing staff!
We most look forward to this week every year as it gives us the opportunity to recognize all of our nurses that have achieved certification in breastfeeding… and there are a lot of them! Their added education translates into a more successful breastfeeding experience for our couplets as all those “new mom” questions get answered immediately at the bedside. This has led to our increased exclusive breastfeeding rates at discharge… proof that we are helping ensure our babies get a head start on a road to lifelong health!
Here are a few added suggestions to consider as you continue working towards your breastfeeding goals:
First, make sure you have supportive healthcare providers! They play a vital role in helping you plot the course on your journey to successful breastfeeding. Ask these questions when choosing a healthcare provider: What percentage of mothers in the practice breastfeed? How will that provider support my goal to breastfeed? Do they have a network of resources for referral?
Secondly, surround yourself with a network of support – your team! They are vital in providing guidance to you as you begin your journey as a new mother. Sometimes there can be differences of opinion. If so, tell your team how important being successful at breastfeeding is to you and how it is so wonderful for the health of you and your baby. Offer them informative reading materials or websites such as The American Academy of Pediatrics at http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding
And lastly, avoid any detours from the plan! Planning to go back to work or school can cause distress for some mothers. Don’t let these decisions be a detour on the road to a healthy future. Prepare in advance by visiting childcare facilities and by talking to your childcare provider about supporting continued breastfeeding. Be sure to talk to your employer or school about how they can remove any road blocks along your journey to meeting your breastfeeding goals.
Happy World Breastfeeding Week!