World Breastfeeding Week: Tips for Successful Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is important to the health and well-being of new babies and moms. The nutrients and antibodies in breast milk help babies fight off illnesses, infections and other potential health threats, and breastfeeding helps new mothers bond with their baby. What many people are not aware of, however, is that breastfeeding safeguards moms’ health, too!

What is World Breastfeeding Week?

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1-7 in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.

“World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. World Breastfeeding Week commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by WHO and UNICEF policymakers in August 1990 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old, and continued breastfeeding with the addition of nutritious complementary foods for up to two years or beyond.” ~ World Health Organization

“According to the World Health Organization, the goal is to increase breastfeeding to near universal levels. This would save over 800,000 lives per year globally,” says Sheila Dedrick, a registered nurse and board-certified lactation consultant who manages Community Memorial Hospital’s New Parent Resource Center. Dedrick says breastfeeding also decreases the risk of mothers developing breast and ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. “The same goal could save 20,000 maternal lives annually from breast cancer alone,” she says.

Dedrick offers 5 tips to help new moms breastfeed successfully:

  1. Take a class on breastfeeding before delivering your baby so you are more prepared.
  2. Keep your baby skin-to-skin or with you as much as possible after delivery.
  3. Ask for breastfeeding assistance in the hospital.
  4. Watch your baby to make sure he or she meets the signs that they are receiving enough during breastfeeding: the baby should be eating at least eight times in a 24-hour period – on the baby’s cue, not on a clock schedule. The baby should be urinating at least once for every day of age until six days old and then should have at least six urinations every 24-hour period after that.  The baby should be stooling at least once daily. Do not go over three hours without breastfeeding the baby in the beginning.
  5. Plan a follow-up visit with your doctor for a baby weight check and for breastfeeding help within 2-3 days of delivery. This helps everyone recognize early on if things aren’t going well.
Free lactation consultations and support are available at the CMHS New Parent Resource Center to all moms who deliver at CMH in Ventura.

Don’t forget! CMH offers unlimited free lactation consultations to women who deliver at CMH, with an international board-certified lactation consultant, for up to one year after delivery.

Also: Visit the New Parent Resource Center to learn about classes to support breastfeeding mothers. The center is located at 2580 E. Main St. in Suite 101. Parking is available on San Nicholas Street. If you have any questions, please call 805-658-2229 (BABY), visit www.cmhshealth.org\mch or email newparentresourcecenter@cmhshealth.org.

Families are invited to attend a celebration of World Breastfeeding Week at East Park in Oxnard (near The Collection) on Saturday, Aug. 3 from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m., for a resource fair with vendor booths, activities for kids, swag bags for the first 150 families, an ice cream truck and more!