May 29, 2024

Holzer Recognizes National Breastfeeding Month in August

Holzer Health System joins the National Institute for Child’s Health Quality (NICHQ) in observing August as Breastfeeding Awareness Month.  Each year, this month has been designated to increase awareness and promote the benefits of breastfeeding for infant, mother,and the entire family.

Early and exclusive breastfeeding with introduction of appropriate foods and juices around six months of age ensures that both mothers and infants receive maximum health benefits. Research shows that breastfed infants are less likely to develop a wide range of chronic and short-term conditions, such as ear infections, respiratory illnesses; and mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

 ​Breastfeeding is also good for our planet. Breastfeeding reduces the amount of waste products and fuel used to manufacture and transport formula. Plastic bottles, nipples, and pacifiers take approximately 200 to 450 years to break down.

 ​“We are committed to help parents on their journey with breastfeeding classes before birth, an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) on staff, and continued phone/visit support after birth. We also work closely with WIC to help bring breast feeding support to parents and providers,” shared Jeanna Spears, IBCLC, CLS, Holzer Health System Maternity and Family Center.

Spears adds that breast milk is designed to meet the specific needs of an infant, especially in premature babies.  The breast milk of a mother who has given birth to a pre-term infant is formulated for pre-term growth needs.  Babies born prematurely miss out on the transplacental delivery of calcium, iron and immunoglobulins that occurs during the third trimester.  The only way premature infants can receive the crucial immunoglobulins is through breast milk. 

Laws have been passed to support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace as well as in public spaces.  There is a growing number of support groups that mothers can turn to when they have concerns or need encouragement, including La Leche League. La Leche League is a national support group for nursing mothers. This group consists of, pediatricians, obstetricians, and lactation consultants, who have supplemental training to assist mothers in all aspects of breastfeeding care. 

For more information, or if you have questions about breastfeeding, call the Holzer Maternity and Family Center at (740) 446-5030.

Information provided by Holzer Health System.