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One of the most beautiful gifts a mother can gift her child is to breastfeed. It protects baby through those first months of life and has some wonderful benefits for mom, too. We respect it may not be the best option for every mother, and as an officially designated Baby-Friendly® facility, our goal at AdventHealth Daytona Beach is “to provide enough education for mothers to make an informed decision when it comes to feeding method,” says Paula Meek, RN, Parent Educator and International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant at AdventHealth Daytona Beach.
Benefits of Baby-Friendly
In 1991, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). “Baby-Friendly USA is part of these global organizations which encourage hospitals to promote education and policies that support mothers as they breastfeed their babies,” explains Paula. Baby-Friendly designated hospitals like AdventHealth Daytona Beach:
- Provide mothers with the information, confidence and skills needed to initiate and continue breastfeeding
- Provide information for the safe preparation and feeding of formula to mothers who choose not to breastfeed
- Promote and encourage safe skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth and throughout the hospital stay for all babies regardless of feeding method
- Promote “rooming in” which allows mother and baby to stay in the same room during their hospital stay for all babies regardless of feeding method
Breastfeeding Supports Whole Health
Breastfeeding is the optimal feeding and caring method for the physical and emotional health of both mother and baby. In addition to strengthening that special bond between you and your little one, breastfeeding reduces a mother’s risk of breast cancers and can reduce baby’s chance of developing respiratory illnesses and obesity.
Mothers also enjoy the added benefit of oxytocin hormone release during breastfeeding which provides a calming effect to the mother.
Support for Mother and Baby
Breastfeeding may be a journey with ups and downs, but we’re here to support you from the moment your baby begins eating in the hospital until long after mother and child are discharged.
While in the hospital, an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) will visit you daily to provide support and education to build confidence as well as help with any feeding issues that may arise. All of our nurses are also trained to help moms with breastfeeding and providing safe care to her baby. After discharge, mothers have access to complimentary lactation consultations and support groups.
Deciding What’s Best for Your Family
Every family’s situation is unique, and breastfeeding is not always possible. “Supplementation may be necessary, and some mothers may decide not to breastfeed,” says Paula. Ultimately it is most important that the mother is given education and options to decide which feeding method will be best for her and her child.
If you’re an expecting mother looking to learn more about breastfeeding, register for a virtual breastfeeding class.
To discuss feeding options or to ask questions, please call Call386-231-3152 to speak to one of our International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs).