MemorialCare Center for Women Joins Other Organizations in Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

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MemorialCare Center for Women Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week

Photo by Carol Browne

The MemorialCare Center for Women at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach and Long Beach Memorial joins the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other global organizations to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and campaign to spread the word about the importance of breastfeeding for health and well-being of mother and baby in new ways, including to young people. Miller Children’s has started new breastfeeding programs that support these concepts.

“Mother’s milk is an excellent source of nutrition for a growing infant,” says Bonnie Henson, RN, BS, IBCLC, director of clinical operations, Perinatal Education and Lactation Support Services at Miller Children’s. “Babies who are not breastfed for the first 6 months of life have an increased chance of chronic illness, such as obesity, asthma, diabetes, ear infections, allergies and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Breastmilk is especially important for the premature infant due to their compromised immune systems.”

Mothers, who get a chance to breastfeed within the first hour of birth have a significant increase in rate of exclusive breastfeeding. To get mothers and babies off on the right foot by breastfeeding in the first hour of birth, the MemorialCare Center for Women has developed two new programs to become more exclusively breastfeeding friendly. For the first hour following delivery, the “Baby Bonding Hour,” visitors are asked to step away from the patient’s room, so mom, significant other and baby have time to get to know each other, bond and feed. This quiet environment eases both mom and baby to have a more relaxed time learning to latch.

“Quiet Time” is a two-hour period for mom, baby and significant other to bond and take a break from visitors. The two hours are allotted into their hospitalization schedule, each day. Routine testing, non urgent visits from nurses, procedures and baby pictures are put on hold during this time, and the hospital encourages families to turn off their cell phones. This special time each day allows more opportunities for new families to bond and practice breastfeeding.

“Baby Bonding Time and Quiet Time are important steps to encourage new moms to get off on the right track to breastfeeding,” says Henson. “These times allow new families to get rest and private time with their new baby. We believe that providing the opportunity for Baby Bonding Time and Quiet Time will help new families get the best start possible and enable them to achieve their breastfeeding goals.”

With a number of support services in place, including having several International Board Certified Lactation Consultants available to meet with moms interested in breastfeeding, the staff at Miller Children’s has continued to see an increase in the rates of mothers’ breastfeeding, this has even extended to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding or to request an interview with Miller Children’s breastfeeding experts, please contact Cayla Jackson at (562) 933-2802.

About the MemorialCare Center for Women:
The MemorialCare Center for Women at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach is a dedicated center just for women, providing compassionate, quality health care during pregnancy. The MemorialCare Center for Women offers a comprehensive program of research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, educational resources, maternity classes and individual and family support programs all under the same roof. Miller Children’s is unique since it has a maternity center under the same roof as a full-service children’s hospital. This means an in-house maternal fetal subspecialist, neonatologist and anesthesiologist, as well as clinical laboratory services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to patients. This ensures the highest quality care for obstetrical and neonatal patients throughout the region, and both mom and baby get the specialized care they need.

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