August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month, with the very first week, August 1-7, being World Breastfeeding Week. The main focus of these two health awareness celebrations is on the importance of the role that breast milk has in an infant’s development, as well as the health and wellness benefits to the mother.
Breast milk not only provides optimum nutrition for all infants, but has a profound impact on the health and emotional well-being of mothers and infants. These benefits are life-long. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United National Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have identified breastfeeding as one of the most important contributors to infant health.
Babies who breastfeed are given helpful antibodies to help their immune systems fight off sickness, have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, allergies, and colic. Furthermore, breastmilk is best designed to help a newborn’s digestive system grow and function, and the protein and fat found in breastmilk are better used by the baby’s body than formula. Both the mother and baby also benefit from the bonding and frequent skin-to-skin contact that breastfeeding provides.
Fort HealthCare was recently surveyed with a goal to be a Baby Friendly facility. The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program that was launched by the WHO and UNICEF in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother-and-baby bonding.
The initiative outlines very specific guidelines that hospitals must follow to maintain this accreditation, many of which have always been routine for Fort HealthCare. Here, you will find an encouraging and caring environment where you and your baby are the center of our care, and breastfeeding is encouraged to take place whenever necessary. All of our staff that care for mothers and infants are specially-trained in breastfeeding and lactation management.
Breastfeeding gives your new baby the very best start. It supplies food, comfort, and love.
To learn more, visit FortHealthCare.com/baby.