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Aurora Lakeland Medical Center Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ELKHORN, Wis.,— Protecting, supporting and promoting the best start for infants and young children’s growth and development, is the mission for the World Breastfeeding Week, which runs August 1-7.

World Alliance for the Breastfeeding Action, which is a global network that sponsors this strategy for infant and young child feeding, focuses on the importance of communication in shaping knowledge, attitudes and behaviors surrounding breastfeeding. To learn more about World Breastfeeding Week, check out the Web site at www.waba.org.my/

The staff at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center is the only Aurora hospital that is Baby-Friendly certified. Each year, they celebrate this week, which recognizes breastfeeding and infant health. In order to be certified as Baby-Friendly, hospitals must practice the ten steps to successful breastfeeding and pass assessment by the Baby-Friendly survey team and a review by an external review board. One of the ten steps is to keep mothers and babies together, as long as both are medically stable.

Carol McShane-Street, registered nurse, and an international board certified lactation consultant at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center’s Lactation Center, said that it is very important to support mothers to be successful.

“Every health organization has statements and policies promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life,” she said.

“We do not routinely separate mothers and babies and we encourage babies to stay with their mothers 24 hours a day,” said McShane-Street. “Not only is it an important bonding time for the new family, the health benefits that the baby gains are incredible. The first feeding of colostrum (from the mother’s breast) lines the baby’s stomach and intestines to protect against bacterial and viral infections.”

She added that breast milk protects newborns from acute respiratory infections and diarrhea, two leading causes of infant death. McShane-Street said research reveals that children at seven years of age who were breast fed demonstrated a measurable IQ difference over those children who were formula fed. In addition, breast milk protects babies against childhood cancers, diabetes, allergies, digestive disorders and Crohn’s disease later in life.

“Breast milk helps prevent many illnesses in infants by providing immunities and it contains key ingredients for infant growth including brain growth and development,’’ she said. “Extended breastfeeding also protects mothers from breast, ovarian and some uterine cancers.” She added that artificial baby milk cannot provide the same health benefits that breast milk provides.

To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, moms who deliver at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center during the first week in August, and for those who will attend the support group on August 3, will receive gift packages.

The Aurora Lakeland Lactation Center, located within the hospital’s Women and Infant Care Unit, is designed to assist breastfeeding mothers with any concerns that may come up during daily routines. The center offers a breastfeeding basics course, provides guidance on breastfeeding and returning to work or school, conducts one-on-one consultations, provides telephone support, facilitates a breastfeeding support group, and offers individual guidance and counseling. The center also offers breastfeeding supplies for sale and breast pump sales and rentals.

The support group aides mothers throughout the entire time they continue to breastfeed. The group helps them with issues such as: how to breastfeed in public, how to introduce solid foods, how to deal with teething, etc. This group allows mothers to have a resource for any questions they might about breastfeeding. They meet one Sunday every month at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center in the Same Day Surgery waiting area on the second floor. The next five meetings are August 3, September 7, October 5,

November 16, and December 21 from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. All meetings are free of charge and no registration is required. For more information about classes or breastfeeding supplies, please call the lactation center at 262-741-2814.

Mary Polk, registered nurse at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, said that there are an average of seven moms at every support group, and some mothers come as far as Illinois and Milwaukee to attend the group.

“It’s really neat to see moms support each other, and to see how the group supports new moms that are having difficulty breastfeeding,” she said. “I love to see how babies go from newborns to all grown up, when moms bring their babies back to visit.’’

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Marie Daniel (262-767-6264)

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