Reflecting on World Breastfeeding Week

Reflecting on World Breastfeeding Week

Last week was World Breastfeeding Week, and there was a great discussion at CHC about how best to promote it.  Our Family Wellness Center, which has been offering breastfeeding support for nearly two decades, had a poster up for The Big Latch On.  On our intranet, we set up a discussion page to talk about how we can support mothers that are breastfeeding and many great resources were shared.

Most importantly, Bernadette Thomas, who received her doctor of nursing practice degree this spring just a few months after giving birth to her daughter Emma, wrote this wonderful blog post:

I breast feed my daughter because a mother’s milk is nutritious and it’s economical.  Breastfed babies also have fewer food allergies and ear infections, and their poops are easier to clean!  However, I was inspired to breastfeed by observing the amazing bond between all of the nursing mothers & children I see in the Clinton office. 

CHC has been supportive of my decision to breastfeed, literally from day 1.   I had a few visits with the hospital lactation consultant, but I admit that my husband and I left the hospital feeling confused!  Our first stop after discharge was CHC of Middletown to meet with Amy Gagliardi.  I needed a lot of continuing support in the first couple of months.  Emma would choke and gag at the breast, and I was convinced I was doing more harm than good.  I had a lot of support from both Amy, and Emma’s primary care provider. 

Around 4 months things really started to click, and this was also when I started pumping.  CHC has been supportive.  I started with two 40 minute blocks, because initially pumping was a slow process.  However, it was another opportunity to work with the CHC lactation consultant, Amy – and she quickly helped me to be more efficient.

So for all of you expectant mothers out there who are contemplating breastfeeding here is my advice.  Make sure you have a good lactation consultant lined up, and know that you have access to CHC’s very own, Amy Gagliardi!  It is also helpful to have a provider, either your babies or your own, who is supportive of and knowledgeable about breastfeeding.  Before you come back to work, talk with your supervisor about taking breaks for pumping.  You should tentatively plan to pump mid morning, at lunch and mid afternoon (but a lactation consultant can help you develop a pumping schedule).   Your supervisor or our staff lactation consultant  can also help you secure a clean and private place to pump. 

Emma is 5 months old now and thriving.  With a little support and the right information we can all meet the challenge of working and continuing to breastfeed.

CHC Enmployees are encouraged to join an ongoing discussion about breastfeeding on the company Intranet, and everyone is encouraged to check out some of these resources:

4 thoughts on “Reflecting on World Breastfeeding Week

  1. Thank you Bernadette, for sharing your experience. Continuing to breastfeed while working full time is a challenge, but it’s definitely worth it. Whenever I hit a tough spot, I remind myself of the successes. Ben is more than 6 months old now, which means I’ve been able to keep nursing him while working for over 3 months. Considering how easy it would be to hand over a few bottles of formula instead of lugging the pump and bottles to work and home, finding the ability to relax enough to pump successfully three times a day, and keep up with my own nutritional needs, I’m amazed that we have all kept going! The support of our families, co-workers, and supervisors is all key. Nursing is a great way to connect with Ben at the beginning and end of the workday and gives so many physical benefits.

  2. We are so lucky to work at a place that supports breastfeeding mothers in such an awesome way! I cannot even begin to imagine a 40 minute pumping block: When I was doing this 8 years ago (in a different organization of course), I was expected to answer phone calls from patients (yes, while pumping) and type notes on the computer–once I even spoke to a pharmaceutical represetative from behind my blanket–during blocks that were 15, maybe 20 minutes long. Despite all my efforts, my disgruntled employer told me I was being “less productive” than my coworkers. Things are so fabulously different for many moms today.
    HOWEVER, I would not have traded the year that each of my two children received exclusively breast milk (from me or from the bottle). I loved the bonding time, the children never got sick and I ate anything I wanted and never got fat!
    I love the idea of World Breastfeeding Week- especially when I consider that 40 years ago women were told it was old-fashioned and unhealthy… and now we know it promotes the health of mother AND child–less infections, SIDS, asthma, breast cancer, obesity…and who knows what else…

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