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When it Comes to Feeding Your Baby, Breastfeeding is Best

Posted on July 29, 2014 by Beth A. McGovern, MSN, RNC-OB, Clinical Practice Specialist, Women’s and Children’s Services

It seems that every time we turn around we read something about an initiative that is celebrated with a “day” or a “week”, like National Ice Cream Day or Love Your Pet Week.  Here at Valley we are proud to recognize World Breastfeeding Week!

According to the World Health Organization, World Breastfeeding week is celebrated every year from August 1-7 in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life."

Breastfeeding has been shown to have multiple benefits for moms and babies. Breast milk provides the perfect infant nutrition and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the “normative way to feed your infant.” Babies who are fed breast milk have less risk of diabetes, childhood cancers, and obesity.  Recent studies show that women who breastfeed have decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, anemia, and osteoporosis, and suggest that children who were fed breast milk have a higher IQ. In addition, breastfeeding also conveys emotional benefits to mothers and babies.

Breastfeeding also:
  • offers a free, convenient supply of infant nourishment;
  • may afford infants protection from some of the effects of pollution; and
  • uses none of the tin, paper, plastic or energy necessary for packing and transporting formula.
We have been hard at work in Women’s and Children’s Services at The Valley Hospital in the pursuit of achieving Baby-Friendly Designation.   The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program that is sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF that recognizes hospitals for their commitment to optimal infant nutrition.   In keeping with the theme of World Breastfeeding Week, Valley is giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills that are need to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding safely.

Learn more about Valley’s Women’s and Children’s Services.

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