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Aurora Lakeland Medical Center Recognizes World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7

Friday, July 31, 2009

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.

Aurora Lakeland Medical Center was the first hospital in Wisconsin to be Baby-Friendly certified. Each year, the hospital celebrates this week, which recognizes breastfeeding and infant health. This year's theme, "Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response Are You Ready?" focuses on supporting breast-feeding during emergency situations.

Carol McShane-Street, registered nurse, and an international board certified lactation consultant at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center's Lactation Center, said that it is important to support mothers, particularly during emergent situations.

"It's important to understand that even in emergencies, moms need support networks to continue or reestablish breastfeeding,'' she said. "Children are very vulnerable in emergencies and breastfeeding is a life-saving intervention that provides some of the best protection for young infants.''

The health benefits of breast milk are well documented. 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.

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. For more information, please call the lactation center at 262-741-2814.

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 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Andy Johnson
262-767-6267
andy.johnson@aurora.org

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