McLeod Health recognizes World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7

FLORENCE, SC – August 1 through August 7, 2017 marks World Breastfeeding Week, a global celebration of breastfeeding and the many benefits it provides for the entire family. Celebrated in more than 120 countries, World Breastfeeding Week is organized by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.

Whether or not to breastfeed is one of the most important decisions parents make for their newborn child. Considered the “gold standard” among medical professionals and researchers, breastfeeding offers benefits that not only immediately affect each baby in the most critical hours after birth, but also stay with the child through the rest of their life. In addition, breastfeeding offers moms many rewards as well.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, benefits include:

For the baby: Breastfeeding decreases the possibility that your baby will get a variety of infectious diseases, ear infections, and diarrhea. 

For the mother: Breastfeeding mothers return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster and have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer. They also experience less postpartum bleeding, as the hormones that help with breastfeeding also make the uterus contract. 

For the family: Breastfeeding facilitates bonding. Fathers and other children can participate by helping the mother with burping and rocking the baby, and by making sure the mother is eating and drinking enough.

Human Milk Initiative

In 2011, McLeod established the Human Milk Initiative, a collaborative effort aimed at providing human milk to premature infants weighing less than 1500 grams (or three pounds five ounces) within the first week of life. Any baby born weighing less than 1500 grams in the state of South Carolina is now exclusively fed human milk until they reach 34 weeks post-conceptual age, or after 30 days of treatment, whichever is longer. Sometimes, there is a physiologic delay in a mother’s own milk production, and some mothers are too sick to pump while others simply cannot make enough milk despite their best efforts. Donor milk allows very low birth weight babies to be fed a safe food early, while the mother is working to produce her own milk.  McLeod Regional Medical Center is one of several depot sites for the Mother’s Milk Bank of South Carolina. Each depot site receives milk from its local donors, which is gathered and sent to the Mother’s Milk Bank. The donated milk is then tested for infection, pasteurized, tested for infection again, and analyzed to assure quality. The milk is then batched and frozen. Every one to two weeks, shipments of the donor milk are sent back to each of the Regional Perinatal Centers in South Carolina, including McLeod Regional Medical Center.

To learn more about breastfeeding call the McLeod Resource Center at 777-2890 or visit McLeodWomen.org.

 -This information is from a Press Release.