August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week; and Des Moines Moms Blog is joining people in more than 170 countries in the celebration. We are pleased to bring you a series of posts this week on the topic of breastfeeding, each one coming from a different perspective. If you are just tuning in, be sure to check out the other posts in this series here.
Having a baby…what could be more wonderful? And one of the most important needs of a baby is to receive mother’s milk!!! It is the perfect milk and has countless benefits!!! Evidence-based research shows that moms who breastfeed reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer. And babies who breastfeed have fewer illnesses and diseases: ear infection, asthma, respiratory illness, diarrhea, ADHD, obesity, leukemia, and Sudden Infant Death. They also have fewer allergies, less colic, and a higher IQ.
World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated worldwide this week with the theme, “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers.” I believe that each of us needs to have a positive and encouraging mindset that breastfeeding is the customary, traditional, and normal method in which to feed babies. Offering a smile, a “thumbs up” or a wink to a mom you see breastfeeding conveys an accepting, positive and encouraging message to her. One waitress made a difference when she gave the husband of a nursing mom his dinner receipt with a note that stated, “I bought one of your pizzas. Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!” This story has gone viral. Make a difference and show support on an individual basis!
The Breastfeeding Coalition of Polk County has designed a handout which shares support options in the Des Moines area. (View the handout here.) The support listed on this handout includes both mom-to-mom and professional support in our community. Mom-to-mom support is enjoyed by women where friendships are made and encouragement is given. Many of these groups’ leaders have training and experience to assist moms! When breastfeeding is comfortable and baby is gaining well these groups keep moms positive and excited about providing their babies with the perfect nutrition!! The professionals, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), on the list also provide this support but are especially helpful when breastfeeding is uncomfortable or there are other medical concerns for mom or baby.
The coalition’s goal is to provide moms with all the support options in our community in order to help her continue breastfeeding. The Breastfeeding Coalition of Polk County is a part of the Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition, and both are open for membership. Please consider joining and help us make a difference for breastfeeding in our county and our state!!
During World Breastfeeding Week, I hope each of us will understand the importance of breastfeeding and have more of a desire to offer the breastfeeding support needed for the mom and her baby!
Meet Guest Blogger Angela E. Swieter, RN, IBCLC, ICD, ICPE, ICPD
I am a wife of 38 years and a mother to three home-grown children. I have four grandchildren, one from each of our baby boys and two from our baby girl!! The first three “grands” are all 2 years old and the fourth just turned one. Another is on the way-December 2013!! My life has always centered on my family: raising and home educating my children and now encouraging the raising of my grandchildren.
I am an RN and currently have a part time private practice business where I provide support for families in the Des Moines and central Iowa area as a birth doula, lactation consultant, educator, and postpartum doula. I seek to empower families through pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and beyond the baby’s first year. I also speak/teach at parent groups and for health professionals.