It's World Breastfeeding Awareness Week, and Spectrum Health supports women who want to breastfeed their babies in many ways. Spectrum Health strives to educate mothers to make informed decisions about what is best for their babies, whether or not they choose to breastfeed their baby.
Becky Crawford and Patty Ryan came on the show to talk about some of the resources offered to breastfeeding moms.
There are many benefits to breastfeeding babies other than giving extra comfort for the baby and saving time. Breastmilk contains antibodies that protect the baby from illnesses such as ear infections, respiratory infections, and diarrhea. Breastfeeding also benefits mom by reducing post-partum bleeding, aiding weight loss after delivery and has been shown to decrease risks of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and depression in moms who have breastfed.
Women can prepare for breastfeeding by attending a class with their partner to learn how to pump their milk and directly feed the baby from their breasts. Spectrum Health provides these classes, with a variety of dates and locations available on their website.
Experts at Spectrum Health say success with breastfeeding starts moments after the baby is born. Babies are placed skin to skin uninterrupted for at least an hour after delivery to promote bonding.
They also encourage mothers and babies to room together as much as possible. Spectrum Health performs almost all tests at the bedside with parents present to support bonding and allow mothers to feed on demand.
After leaving the hospital, MedNow is a great way women can get support without leaving their home.
There are also Breastfeeding Support Groups that meet three times per week and provides an opportunity for one on one help from a lactation specialist and to also meet other breastfeeding moms. Women can call the Spectrum Health Warm Line at (616)-391-9437.