August is designated as National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Over the past few months, the nationwide shortage of infant formula has brought breastfeeding to the fore as an option for feeding your child. Forrest General worked with other Central City medical facilities to hold breast milk drives with donations to the Mississippi Breast Milk Bank. Forrest General is one of 11 milk depots across the state that accepts donations.
Throughout the month, Forrest General Hospital wants to help more women discover the benefits of breastfeeding, while making sure they also get the support they need.
Some of the benefits of breastfeeding include:
- Break milk provides appropriate, age-appropriate nutrition for infants.
- Breast milk contains antibodies that reduce the risk of contracting bacteria and viruses in infants.
- Breastfeeding can reduce a child’s risk of common childhood illnesses.
- Breastfeeding helps promote a healthy weight for both infant and mother.
- Breastfeeding causes the uterus to contract promoting healing after birth.
- Nursing mothers have a reduced case of depression.
- Breastfeeding can reduce the mother’s risk of contracting certain diseases, including breast and ovarian cancer.
- Breastfed babies have been shown to have fewer ear infections, urinary tract infections, allergies and illnesses requiring hospitalization.
- Breastfeeding saves time.
- Breastfeeding saves money. Over the course of a year, breastfeeding could save your family over $1,500 per year.
Due to the incredible benefits for infants and mothers, breastfeeding is encouraged for at least 12 months after birth. As Mississippi’s first baby-friendly hospital, Forrest General supports mothers through the breastfeeding process. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that provide an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
In addition to breastfeeding classes, which are offered free of charge to any mother giving birth at Forrest General Hospital, specially trained lactation nurses are available to help mothers learn how to breastfeed and answer questions. They can be reached by phone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at 601-288-3763.
To learn more about breastfeeding and breastfeeding classes, visit forrestgeneral.com/breastfeeding.