Friday, August 6, 2010

The case for community approaches and Baby Friendly hospitals

Welcome to Friends of the Birth Center’s last blog post celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2010 (WBW). Thank you for reading, forwarding, reposting and commenting on the week’s offerings. 

We especially appreciate Lane County Healthy Babies, Healthy Communities, the Lane County Breastfeeding Coalition and the American Association of Birth Centers for encouraging their members to follow and join our online celebration. We appreciate the opportunity to have health care providers and administrators hear about our WBW online celebration. Thank you, too, to The Register-Guard for the following August 1 mention:

Breastfeeding blog offered

Advocates of breastfeeding are observing World Breastfeeding Week, encouraging increased understanding and the adoption of evidence-based breastfeeding support systems for women, families and communities. A blog operated by Lane County Friends of the Birth Center offers various perspectives from families, elected leaders and others. Visit for more information.

Making the case for Baby Friendly evidence-based support

Breastfeeding is a family and community affair. Friends of the Birth Center conveyed this by inviting a cross section of supportive perspectives for effectively supporting women, babies, families, employers and communities in breastfeeding initiation and maintenance. We agree with the Surgeon General that a community-wide approach is needed to reduce disparities among breastfeeding mothers and children of all backgrounds and to improve support for nursing women in their workplaces and communities.

Specifically, the week’s blog posts make the case for and encourage Lane County hospitals to adopt comprehensive, evidence-based breastfeeding support systems by becoming officially designated Baby Friendly facilities. 

Read the week's offerings
Senator Merkley: Breastfeeding Great Formula for Moms and Babies 

Simply put, breastfeeding provides a great ‘formula’ for healthier moms and babies.

Community Perspectives on Breastfeeding Support at the Birth Center
…the breastfeeding care we describe as lifeline-like is not magic or luck but rather the outcome of the Birth Center practicing comprehensive, evidence-based breastfeeding care.

A Provider’s Perspective on Baby Friendly Breastfeeding Care in Lane County
Everyday, I was humbled to see how complicated decisions around breastfeeding are and how much more than an individual woman’s preferences are involved.

Baby Connection: an innovative approach to transforming community breastfeeding services
Baby Connection experiments with altering current models of care while navigating resistance to change.

During WBW 2010, Science and Hollywood weighed in, too
The New York Times published “Breast Milk Sugars Give Infants a Protective Coat” describing some of the non-nutritive, non-digestible components of breast milk.

“We were astonished that milk had so much material that the infant couldn’t digest,” Dr. German said. “Finding that it selectively stimulates the growth of specific bacteria, which are in turn protective of the infant, let us see the genius of the strategy — mothers are recruiting another life-form to baby-sit their baby.”

Much remains to be learned (and unlearned) about breast milk, a fluid shaped by 200 million years of mammalian evolution. What do the scientists conclude?

… every component of milk probably has a special role. “It’s all there for a purpose, though we’re still figuring out what that purpose is,” Dr. Mills said. “So for God’s sake, please breast-feed.”
Meanwhile in the land of pop culture and celebrity buzz, actresses who breastfed put a little something together.... Try not to laugh - we dare you!

What's next?
We will continue to collect survey responses from women, partners, extended family members, friends, neighbors and community members who have received or are familiar with someone who as received evidence-based breastfeeding support at the PeaceHealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center – Lane County’s only Baby Friendly designated facility.

In sharing our stories, we hope to help make Baby Friendly care baseline for all women and families in Lane County. Anonymous results from this survey will be shared with staff and administrators of Lane County hospitals. 

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