The Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade (HSCMD), is a community-based non-profit organization statutorily designated and funded by the State of Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to serve as Miami-Dade County’s prenatal and infant care coalition. In honor of August as National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, HSCMD offers these tips for expecting and new moms on the advantages of breastfeeding.
Studies have consistently shown that breastfeeding provides babies with health, developmental and psychological gains that are unmatched by other feeding options. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, women who breastfeed have a reduced risk for premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, breast milk provides protection against many illnesses and is the best source of nutrition for most infants.
“Breastfeeding is a journey of learning for mom and baby. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!” said, Tiquana Williams, a Certified Lactation Consultant.
Here are six important Tips for Breastfeeding Awareness Month:
- Educate Yourself About Breastfeeding before your baby arrives: It is important for pregnant women to learn as much as possible about breastfeeding before the baby is born. Becoming familiar with topics such as feeding cues, how to position your baby, and how to ensure that your infant is latching on correctly helps new moms feel more confident about breastfeeding.
- Know Your Resources: Become familiar with community resources and identify a support system. These resources may include your prenatal care provider, or midwife, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Certified Lactation Counselors, and International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants. It is important for mother and families to recognize that help is available if needed.
- Drug Free: Consider having a natural or unmedicated birth, with as little interference from medications as possible. Medications may cross the placenta and affect your baby’s early functioning, and can sometimes interfere with the natural breastfeeding process
- Skin to skin: Immediately after your baby has been born, within the first hour of life, hold your baby skin to skin. This helps to create an initial bond between mother and baby, it also aids in establishing and encouraging the breastfeeding process.
- Having Difficulty? Sometimes mothers may encounter initial challenges in their baby to latch on. New moms can utilize available resources for assistance and support.
- Patience is key: Remind yourself that breastfeeding is not always a simple task, and an adjustment period is normal. Moms and babies need time to learn together how breastfeeding works best for their unique relationship. Congratulate yourself for your continued commitment to giving your baby the lifelong health benefits provided by your breastmilk.
For more information on the Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade and their services, including their Breastfeeding Experts, please visit https://www.hscmd.org