Today, August 1, 2012, kicks off National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH) was funded to carry out the recommendations of the HHS Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding (2000) into a National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign to promote breastfeeding among first-time parents (mothers and fathers) who would not normally breastfeed their baby. The overall goal of the campaign was to increase the proportion of mothers who breastfeed their babies in the early postpartum period to 75% and those within six months postpartum to 50% by the year 2010 (Healthy People 2010). The campaign aimed to empower women to commit to breastfeeding and to highlight new research that shows that babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory illnesses, and may be less likely to develop childhood obesity. Besides trying to raise initiation rates, the campaign stressed the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for six months.”
The campaign ended in 2006 but has since turned into National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.
August 1-7, 2012 also happens to be the 20thWorld Breastfeeding Week!
“20 years ago, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) launched its first World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) campaign with the theme: “Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative”. So much has happened in these 20 years, it is time to celebrate but also to look back, understand what has happened and why. Then plan what more can be done to support all women to be able to optimally feed and care for of their infants and young children.”
To take part in the pledge, click here.
AND that’s not all, folks! Today also marks the day that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect which, to sum it up, means that employers will now be required to provide a private place for moms to pump or breastfeed. Health care plans will also be required to provide supplies (hospital-grade pumps, yay!!), counseling and support services with no out of pocket costs. Well-woman checks are also covered in addition to other services for women.
Not a bad way to start the month, ladies!
If you would like to show your support of breastfeeding, head out to the Big Latch On event that is happening this weekend.
The Austin WIC Peer Counselors and Mamacents are teaming up to host the Austin location for this world wide event. Latch on will take place at the Mamacents children’s consignment sale, Saturday August 4, 2012 at 10 AM. Lets beat the record for the most moms breastfeeding simultaneously! Get there at 10:00 to register and be counted at 10:30.
For more locations and information about this world wide event visit http://www.biglatchon.org/. or visit the Austin facebook page.
While we are on the topic, let’s talk about one other way to help: “The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accept, pasteurize and dispense donor human milk by physician prescription, primarily to premature and ill infants.”
- Austin’s local milk bank serves 60 hospitals in 14 states.
- Just 1/3 of an ounce is one meal for a premature baby.
- Not only is human donor milk safe, it also saves many lives.
Who can donate? The profile of a donor is a healthy, lactating mom up until one year after birth.
What’s the process to become a donor? The first step is to have a verbal interview over the phone. This takes about twelve minutes. You will be asked questions about your general lifestyle, medical history and travel history (to make sure you haven’t visited any countries recently that have exposed you to potentially dangerous diseases). The next step would be to fill out a written questionnaire, which takes about fifteen minutes and gives the Mother’s Milk Bank formal consent. You will need to provide two medical release forms: one from your prenatal care provider and one from your pediatrician. The last step would be to have lab work done at the Milk Bank’s expense at a location convenient to you. There is a 100 ounce requirement to become a local donor.
To find out more about this invaluable service, continue reading here.
Breastfeeding mamas, keep doing what you are doing! It’s not always the easiest option, but well worth it if you can manage to make it work.