By Caroline Lee
(Wampsville, NY – July 2012) Have you ever felt discouraged while breastfeeding? Have you ever been worried that your baby is not getting enough milk? Do you have questions about breastfeeding? Do you wish someone could help?
The good news is that help is available.
Breastfeeding is healthy for mom and baby. Breast milk is the best and most complete food for your baby. Breastfeeding reduces a child’s risk of getting infections and can also reduce the risk for mothers getting ovarian and breast cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Breastfeeding also saves money on infant formula.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about six months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for one year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.
If you or someone you know is looking for support while breastfeeding, consider the breastfeeding programs in Madison County. There are two Breastfeeding Connections sites, the new Breastfeeding Connections Café, and breastfeeding help on the phone.
Breastfeeding Connections is a place for breastfeeding moms and their families to get support from other moms. Moms can chat about getting sleep, pumping, going back to work, getting support from their partner and anything else important to them.
Breastfeeding Connections is also a place to get advice from healthcare professionals who can check the baby’s weight and milk intake.
“From my personal experience, the mom-to-mom support is invaluable, as support is given by other moms going through the same thing” said Molly Limbert, R.N., a lactation consultant with Madison County Health Department who helps at Breastfeeding Connections. “One mom shared that if it was not for Breastfeeding Connections, she would not still be nursing.”
Breastfeeding Connections is available in Oneida and Morrisville. In Oneida, Breastfeeding Connections is Mondays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. at Oneida Healthcare Center, 607 Seneca Ave. In Morrisville, Breastfeeding Connections is Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon at the Community Action Partnership, 6 Cambridge Ave.
The Breastfeeding Connections Café is a place for breastfeeding and pregnant moms to gather. Here, alongside lactation helpers, moms are given the opportunity to talk to other moms and connect to community resources. The Café is a relaxed setting where a light lunch is also served.
The Breastfeeding Connections Café is offered the first and third Fridays of each month from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Oneida Healthcare Center, 607 Seneca Ave. Moms can stop in with their baby and also bring a friend, family member or partner.
Lactation helpers are also just a phone call away.
“If it hurts, or you are thinking of giving up, call me or another helper to see how we can help,” says Molly Limbert, who is available to answer questions between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at 315.813.3132. Moms can also call the Oneida Healthcare Center anytime at 315.361.2065 or WIC at 315.363.3210 or 315.720.0124. If you’ve decided to breastfeed, that is the first step; getting support is the next.
Caroline Lee is a fellow of Colgate University’s Upstate Institute placed with Madison County Department of Health.