Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week in August
by Augusta Sires
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasize the value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children. Both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and breastfeeding at least one year according to AAP or breastfeeding at least two years according to WHO, to achieve optimal health and development.
However, currently fewer than 38% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed worldwide. Annual public health awareness events such as World Breastfeeding Week, August 1 – 7, aim to increase this number by communicating the importance of protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding so that infants receive appropriate nutrition.
Covenant Medical Center has five Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) on-site to assist with breastfeeding needs before, during, and after delivery. They are available to answer questions and help ensure moms are successful with their breastfeeding experience.
“We want to make sure that all moms have the chance to breastfeed if it is part of their desired care plan,” said Rhonda Thompson, one of Covenant Medical Center’s Lactation Consultants. “The World Health Organization tells us that breastfeeding helps protect babies from respiratory infections, diarrheal disease, and other life-threatening ailments, as well as obesity and non-communicable diseases such as asthma and diabetes.”
Covenant Medical Center also offers a weekly Breastfeeding Support Group. Meetings are held at Covenant Medical Center on Wednesdays from 1 to 2 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Outpatient and Women’s Center building in Classroom 11. It is a mother-to-mother support group with a Lactation Consultant available to answer questions. There is no cost to attend. Those interested can call 319.272.8465 for more information.
Covenant Medical Center will host an open house during World Breastfeeding Week on Wednesday, August 5, from 1 to 3 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Outpatient and Women’s Center building in Classroom 11. The event will shine a light on the importance of breastfeeding, offering food, fun, and information for attendees.