By Ms. Laura Boyd (Army Medicine)August 11, 2014
FT. CAMPBELL, Ky. -- The 2014 World Breastfeeding Week theme "Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life!" acknowledges that when mothers and babies succeed in their breastfeeding plans, they can enjoy a lifetime of benefits.
"As a medical provider, I strongly encourage breastfeeding because research has shown that babies exclusively breastfed for their first six months are more likely to be healthy babies with lower risk for a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, obesity, and respiratory illnesses," said Jessica Chance, Certified Nurse-Midwife for Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. "Moms who breastfeed also benefit from a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers while building a stronger bond with their babies."
In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital staff and leaders hosted activities throughout the week for patients and staff.
Monday Aug. 4, the regularly scheduled MOM and ME group, which provides mothers breastfeeding information, answers to questions and support, also covered additional topics such as safe baby wearing.
Thursday, Aug. 7 BACH dedicated the breastfeeding room in the Women's Health Clinic. This breastfeeding-friendly room has been providing BACH patients and staff a quiet and private place to breastfeed since March 2013.
In addition to these events open to the public, Women's Health staff members also provided breastfeeding education and information to fellow BACH staff throughout the hospital to ensure providers have the most updated information standards and benefits regarding breastfeeding.
To reach the goal of exclusive breastfeeding, mothers need a team of helpers and healthcare professionals to support them. This breastfeeding team can include family, friends, employers, physicians, nurses, midwives and lactation consultants. Together, the breastfeeding team provides information to boost confidence, protects mothers against critics, gives reassurance and lends a hand to help breastfeeding mothers succeed. BACH currently has three International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and a lactation specialist available to patients. To schedule an outpatient lactation consultation, patients may call the Women's Health Clinic appointment line at 270-798-8151, Option 1.
Although August is recognized as National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, BACH provides information and assistance to breastfeeding moms all throughout the year. Routine offerings include:
MOM and ME Group: Mondays from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Mother Baby Unit classroom, BACH "A" Building, 2nd Floor. Meet with a lactation consultant, socialize with other breastfeeding moms and discuss breastfeeding. Lactating mothers and their babies are welcome as well as women who are about to deliver. "The MOM & ME group is a great way to build relationship with other moms who breastfeed," said Audrey Sundbye, BACH IBCLC. She explained that moms often feel uncomfortable visiting their friends or family when they are breastfeeding, feeling like they should leave the group to breastfeed in a private room.
"Many moms have told me that the supportive friendships they made in our MOM and ME Group has given them the confidence to breastfeed when their babies are hungry instead of making their infants wait while mom looks for a private area."
Breastfeeding Class: A BACH Lactation Consultant conducts breastfeeding classes to equip participants with the knowledge and tips for successful with breastfeeding. Call the Women's Health Clinic appointment line at 270-798-8151, Option 1 to schedule an appointment to attend a class. Women must be at least 32 weeks pregnant to schedule a seat in the next breastfeeding class.
Breastfeeding Hotline: All Families who delivered at BACH or live in Tennessee now have a new resource to support their efforts to breastfeed babies. The Department of Health has launched the statewide Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline, which is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free number is 1-855-4BF-MOMS (1-855-423-6667). The hotline is staffed by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants and Certified Lactation Counselors who provide accurate and up-to-date information at any time of day or night to address common questions and concerns about breastfeeding.