By Carolina Boyd, Communications Associate
This week is World Breastfeeding Week. Every year since 1992, August 1-7 has been set aside as a time to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding. This year’s global theme is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.” With the world still in the midst of a global pandemic, it is a good time to recognize how breastfeeding contributes to the survival, health and wellbeing of all.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival across the globe. However, the WHO estimates that almost two out of every three infants are not exclusively breastfed during the recommended first six months of life. That rate has not changed in two decades.
Breastmilk contains antibodies that help protect against many common childhood illnesses, like asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, ear infections, gastrointestinal infections and sudden infant death syndrome. Breastmilk provides the energy and nutrients that infants need during the first months of life. It is easier to digest than infant formula, and it can provide a cost savings over formula.
Breastfeeding can also be beneficial to a mom’s health. It helps lower the risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, ovarian and breast cancers.
Yanett Hodgson has been Legacy Community Health’s Lactation Consultant for seven years. Located in our Southwest clinic at 6441 High Star, she has guided pregnant and postpartum patients through the breastfeeding challenges that can arise.
“Patients often come to me with concerns about insufficient milk supply during breastfeeding,” said Hodgson. “Many times it is because of improper technique. Issues like difficulty latching, sore nipples or pain are not uncommon.”
Legacy Community Health strives to create an environment where breastfeeding is encouraged as well as supported. In addition to lactation assistance, free breastfeeding classes are available at most of our clinics to encourage pregnant and postpartum patients to breastfeed.
“When lactation problems are treated early on, it can lead to successful breastfeeding for mother and child. I give them the support they need to feel confident,” said Hodgson.
In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, visit one of the following Legacy locations: Southwest, Mapleridge, Santa Clara or Northline on Friday, August 6, 2021 to meet with a patient educator to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as to enter a raffle for a chance to win a prize. If you have any questions or are interested in one of Legacy’s breastfeeding classes, please reach out to our Public Health team at (281) 628-2011. Appointments with our lactation consultant are available at no cost and are offered in person through walk in one-on-one consultations and pediatric co-visits at Legacy’s Southwest Clinic. Lactation Telehealth appointments are also available everyday via Zoom.