Breastfeeding seminars

Breastfeeding interest rises as formula shortage persists

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) – Health officials are still battling a shortage of infant formula in this country, prompting more mothers to consider breastfeeding instead. Friday WITN spoke to experts in this field about how they are handling the growing interest.

“They call and they ask, hey it’s hard to find this formula, is there any way you can help me relactate,” said Elizabeth Hill, breastfeeding coordinator for the county health department. of Wayne. Health experts say a months-long shortage of infant formula is fueling growing interest in breastfeeding.

On Friday, a mix of nurses, WIC staff and lactation consultants gathered in Greenville to talk about how to educate new mothers. The event was part of an annual conference, but attendees shared information about the formula and its impact on their daily lives.

“A number of families I’ve worked with have mentioned that they really weren’t going to breastfeed, but they think they’re going to try now because of the shortage,” said Regional Lactation Coordinator Hannah Edens. She said the benefits of breastfeeding are nearly endless. “Breastfed babies have a lower risk of ear infections, allergies, asthma, diabetes and more.”

They also extend to mothers. “Lower rates of cardiovascular disease, faster return to pre-pregnancy weight, reduced risk of ovarian and uterine cancer or breast cancer,” she continued.

But it’s not always a simple process, which is why WIC leaders offer mentorship. “Babies are born with the instinct to breastfeed, not necessarily born with a good instinct. So that’s where the support comes in, so we spend a lot of time educating our pregnant moms,” Hill explained.

Tyjuana Atkinson works at the Lenoir County WIC office. She said they want to learn everything they can to support healthy babies.

“Breastfeeding is constantly evolving. They are constantly researching breastfeeding, and whenever there is research, it is our duty to keep our participants informed,” the breastfeeding coordinator explained. mother of Lenoir County Health, Tyjuana Atkinson.

Some mothers donated breast milk to help other mothers during the shortage. But the WIC directors we spoke to said we still need more moms to do the same.

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