Mahaska Health Partnership Celebrates Breastfeeding Week
In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, August 1 through 7, Mahaska Health Partnership emphasizes the value of breastfeeding for mothers and children alike.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated around the globe to encourage breastfeeding as a means of improving the health of babies. Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need to grow and develop. Nutrition and nurturing during the first years of life are essential to life-long health and well-being. In places where proper nutrition can be hard to come by, breastfeeding is especially important.
“Children should have the best, healthiest start to their lives,” explained MHP Birthing Center Director Chyann Vroegh. “Any amount of breastfeeding will benefit a child.”
The WHO recommends that infants start breastfeeding within an hour of life and are exclusively breastfed for six months. This means no additional food or drink, not even water. Children should also be fed as often as they want; day or night. After six months, children should be introduced safe complementary foods while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years of age or beyond, depending on their individual nutritional situation.
“In the US, fewer than one in six mothers are exclusively breastfeeding their babies at the end of six months,” stated Vroegh. “Breastfeeding better protects babies from illness, reduces the incidence of obesity and SIDS and the risk of postpartum depression in mothers.”
Mahaska Health Partnership offers prenatal classes that are helpful to new mothers and their partners. Prenatal & Lamaze classes focus on prenatal care, labor, delivery, postpartum and baby care as well as breathing exercises and Lamaze. Breastfeeding classes offer tips and techniques for breastfeeding along with ways to prevent, recognize and manage possible difficulties.
“We’re here to give new mothers options and advice as they begin a new chapter in their lives with their baby,” shared Vroegh. “We want mother and baby to be the healthiest and happiest they can be.”