Published on August 01, 2016

Breastfeeding: Great for babies—and their moms Breastfeeding: Great for babies—and their moms

Breastfeeding is healthy for babies and their moms. The federal Centers for Disease Control calls it “one of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant “

Each year, World Breastfeeding Week, focuses attention on this valuable practice, and celebrates women and men who support it. This year, the Week is being recognized Aug. 1-7, and the Family-Centered Birth Centers at Falmouth Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital each has an event planned to celebrate.

“We’re celebrating all of our breastfeeding moms, whether they breastfed for a day or continue to breastfeed now,” said Heather Lakatos, RN, BSN, IBCLC, lactation counselor at the Cape Cod Hospital Family Birthplace.

Suzan Scharr, RN IBCLC, lactation counselor at Falmouth Hospital agrees and said that in addition to celebrating, the theme of the week is sustainability. This theme ties in with the goals set by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) that include ending poverty, hunger, ensuring healthy lives and more.

“I think World Breastfeeding week is the way to get the word out that it is something women should consider doing,” said Scharr. “It’s a very positive, healthy option, not only for the baby, but the mother as well.”

Moms and babies are invited to take part in this week’s celebrations and have two options on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Hospital

Aug. 5: Cape Cod Hospital will hold an event from 10 am – 12 pm in the hospital’s Lorusso Board Room. The morning will include:

  • Massage
  • Reiki for moms and babies
  • Yoga
  • Demonstrations of baby carriers
  • Advice on nutrition
  • Talk on postpartum depression.

Two massage therapists will be available for chair massages, and yoga for moms and babies will show moms how they can integrate yoga into their life before and after birth. Courtney Driscoll-Shea, clinical nutrition manager for Cape Cod Healthcare, will make “nutritious fruit smoothies that are good for nutrition and lactation,” said Lakatos.

Baby carriers and slings will be available for moms to try on. Danny Rodrigues, LCSW, a social worker in maternity, will speak about post- partum depression.

Falmouth Hospital

Aug. 11 Falmouth Hospital will have an event in the hospital’s Faxon Center from 10 am-12 pm. Moms will be able to visit various stations that will have informational demonstrations, such as:

  • Ergonomically designed infant products including backpacks, slings, and carriers will be available for viewing and trying on.
  • Demonstrations of the latest breast pumps
  • Cheryl Donohue from Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will talk about how the organization helps mothers and families. She is also a breastfeeding counselor for WIC and teaches prenatal and breastfeeding classes at Falmouth Hospital.
  • Gregory Parkinson, MD, a pediatrician at Falmouth Hospital will talk about his book, “Giggle More, Worry Less,” published last year. The book answers questions for new parents and encourages them to be more joyful and less stressed.
  • Diana Gaumond, BSN, MPH, from the Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps will provide information about how to prepare for emergencies. “An advantage of breastfeeding is you don’t have to be concerned about having clean water and baby bottles,” said Scharr.

A variety of fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods will be available for noshing.

Each Family-Centered Birthing Center has a variety of resources to help new moms succeed at breastfeeding. They include breastfeeding support groups, “Warm Lines” that mothers can call with questions, packets with resources and a trained staff.