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August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and the celebration theme for the Ohio Woman Infant and Children program, is “Working Together for Breastfeeding Success.” Ohio WIC wants to emphasize the importance of working together with family, friends, employers, healthcare and childcare providers to empower and support a woman’s decision to breastfeed her child when, how, and where she wants. WIC is a supplemental food, nutrition, and breastfeeding support program funded by the USDA that strives to make breastfeeding, and the use of breast milk to feed babies, the norm in the United States because it is the optimal form of nutrition.
WIC Breastfeeding Peers Helpers give pregnant and postpartum mothers information on breastfeeding or exclusively pumping to provide baby with extraordinary benefits. Since breast milk is a living substance, meaning it contains antibodies, white blood cells, and helpful bacteria. Breastmilk is easily absorbed by the baby and is always clean. According to Karin Cadwell and Cindy Turner-Maffei’s book Pocket Guide for Lactation Management, Second Edition, “improved breastfeeding alone could save the lives of more than 3,500 children every day” because it promotes the health and growth of infants. The benefits of breast feeding carry on throughout life and this is why WIC strives to make breastfeeding the norm. It saves lives!
Some mothers feel they just cannot breastfeed, whether for personal reasons, failed previous attempts, or health issues preventing baby from feeding at the breast. For example, a baby born early may be required to spend time in the NICU and mom may lose the opportunity to latch. Exclusively pumping provides many of the same benefits that feeding at the breast does. WIC Peer Helpers can assure women their bodies can make enough breastmilk to support baby’s growth and can educate moms on what to expect in the first few weeks of breastfeeding or pumping.
It is important for mothers who decide to exclusively pump to purchase a good quality pump that is able to withstand long term pumping. Poor quality pumps cannot remove milk as effectively and may cause unnecessary soreness. In most cases, with a doctor’s prescription, insurance companies will pay for a breast pump. A double electric pump allows you to express both breasts simultaneously to save time and may help increase the amount pumped during a session. It is vital to have all pieces fit correctly to express the optimal amount of milk, especially the flanges, which are pieces that fit to the breast. The storage guidelines for breast milk are also more favorable than those of formula. Fresh pumped breast milk can be left at room temperature for 6-8 hours; newly mixed formula can only be left for 1 hour before needing discarded.
Supporting breastfeeding and pumping mothers can mean the difference between making their goals and giving up. Join Clermont County WIC August 7th at Batavia Township Park between 10AM-12PM for a Mom+Baby Fair to celebrate breastfeeding. Giving children the best start in life by breastfeeding is very important, no matter how you’ve achieved it.
2275 Bauer RoadSuite 300Batavia, Ohio 45103