August is World Breastfeeding Month – a time when physicians and health organizations throughout the world including the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the providers at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital recommend breastfeeding as the best option for both the babies and their mothers. That’s why, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital is encouraging new mothers to seriously consider exclusively breastfeeding their infants for at least six months but preferably longer. That is also why the hospital and its providers are working with Wayne County health providers and agencies to promote breastfeeding. The hospital will participate in a Breastfeeding Summit for new mothers and their significant others on August 22nd for 1-3 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension on Route 88 North, Newark.
Mother’s milk is the perfect combination of nutrients for babies; it is high in the calories, protein, vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy growth and development. Countless studies have shown other benefits including: breast milk protects babies’ immune systems (fewer incidences of ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory infections), and breastfed babies tend to have less obesity, diabetes and asthma later in life. For new mothers, breastfeeding: helps the mother’s uterus return to normal sooner; enables the mom to lose weight faster; and lowers her risks for breast and ovarian cancers, type 2 diabetes and postpartum depression.
More than two years ago, Newark-Wayne embarked on the journey to become the first hospital in the Finger Lakes to be recognized as “Baby Friendly,” the World Health Organization and UNICEF’s prestigious international designation that demonstrates a hospital’s commitment to breastfeeding and to providing the best birthing experience to new mothers and their babies. The hospital expects to attain that designation by early 2014. In addition, Newark-Wayne now offers four lactation counselors so that new mothers can always have the level of expertise necessary to help them be successful at breastfeeding both when they are at the hospital and when they go home.
In addition, Newark-Wayne is partnering with other agencies in Wayne County to assure that new mothers will be aware of breastfeeding’s benefits before they come to the hospital for delivery and that they will have the support necessary for success when the go home. It is recommended that breastfeeding continue with no other food supplementation for at least six months. This is why organizations such as Cornell Cooperative Extension, which is known for teaching families about good nutrition, and providers such as Wayne County Public Health and other health funding organizations such as the Wayne County Rural Health Network are working together to promote breastfeeding as the best option for newborns and their mothers.
For more information, contact the Newark-Wayne Community Hospital Birthing Center at (315) 332-2230 or go to www.newarkwaynehospital.org.