This week, we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, first launched in 1991 by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. This a great time to help raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support. As a mother who exclusively breastfed both of my children and works in the health care industry, I believe I am a fairly credible advocate.
My nursing relationship with both of my children lasted 13 months until they self-weaned. I chose this type of nourishment for my children mainly because of the benefits of breastmilk, but also because I wanted the bonding experience that typically comes with breastfeeding.
So what are the benefits of breastfeeding?
The nutrients, hormones and antibodies provided by the mother help keep the baby strong and healthy. Breast milk tends to be easier to digest, and studies show that breastfed babies typically have lower risk of allergies, ear infections, diarrhea, lower respiratory infections, asthma, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. In addition to the nutritional benefits, breastfeeding provides comfort and security to the baby, which in my opinion is invaluable.
Although I knew the advantages of breastfeeding for the baby, I was surprised to learn and reap the benefits of breastfeeding as a new mom. The physical interaction between mother and baby induces oxytocin, a hormone that helps milk flow and creates a calming effect. I’d take any kind of calmness I could get as a new mom!
Breastfeeding can also lower the mother’s risk of Type 2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer and postpartum depression. It not only provides physical and emotional benefits, but it’s also free and convenient!
Want to learn more?
To help celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, Wilson Medical Center is hosting its fifth annual celebration — a Maternity and Breastfeeding Fair with the Big Latch-On. This free event is Saturday, Aug. 6 in the hospital auditorium from 9 a.m. to noon. Any mother who plans to participate in the Big Latch-On should register by 10 a.m. The Big Latch-On is a synchronized breastfeeding event where women will nurse their babies/children for one minute at 10:30 a.m.
Some of our vendors include Ashley Marie Photography, Rodan+ Fields, Mary Kay, Playdate of Wilson, Wilson Area MOPS, La Leche League of Wilson, From Littles With Love and many more.
Safe Kids Wilson County representatives will perform car seat checks in the parking lot, Happy Girls Bras and Breastfeeding will offer free and private bra fittings and Kindermusik will provide a demonstration. We’ll also have something for the little ones. Party and Event Creations will have a character meet and greet from 10–11 a.m.
Whether you’re a nursing mother, mom-to-be, or just looking for a fun Saturday morning outing with your kids, clear your calendar and plan to attend this event.
For more information about the event or any of Wilson Medical Center’s Women’s & Children’s Services, visit www.wilsonmedical.com.
Melanie Raynor is the marketing coordinator at Wilson Medical Center.