World Breastfeeding Week Celebrated August 1-7: The Road to Lifelong Health Begins with Breastfeeding
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In support of World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), the Kennedy Health System reminds mothers of the importance of breastfeeding. The World Breastfeeding Week 2012 slogan “The Road to Lifelong Health Begins with Breastfeeding” reinforces the importance of breastfeeding for long-term health.

“Early and exclusive breastfeeding -- with the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding around six months of age and continued breastfeeding for the first year of life -- ensures that both mothers and infants receive the maximum health benefits of breastfeeding,” said Kennedy Lactation Consultant Joanne Naughton, RN, CCE, IBCLC.

As stated in the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding 2011, breast milk has unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children. For children reduced risk of asthma, ear and respiratory infections, childhood obesity and diabetes are just a few of those illnesses. For mothers, exclusive breastfeeding and longer durations of breastfeeding reduces risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

Recently, Kennedy University Hospital in Washington Township, was selected to participate in Best Fed Beginnings, a first-of-its-kind national effort to significantly improve breastfeeding rates in states where rates are currently the lowest. Kennedy is the only hospital in southern New Jersey chosen to participate in the initiative and one of only two in the entire state of New Jersey.

Although breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive health measures for infants and mothers, half of US-born babies are given formula within the first week, and by 9 months, only 31% of babies are breastfeeding at all.  Best Fed Beginnings seeks to reverse these trends by dramatically increasing the number of US hospitals implementing a proven model for maternity services that better supports a new mother’s choice to breastfeed.

“We recognize that for women who plan to breastfeed, the hospital experience strongly influences a mother’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding. We are committed to implementing evidence-based care through the Baby-Friendly designation process. This will ensure that mothers delivering in our facility who intend to breastfeed are fully supported,” said Clinical Director, Frances Cusick, MSN, RN

Through its Women’s & Children’s Services, Kennedy offers many services and programs to support breastfeeding moms, including a three-hour prenatal breastfeeding education class, as well as a breastfeeding support group after the baby is born. Parents can receive private consultations with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to address the more complicated challenges. There is also a breast pump rental program, which provides various styles of the state-of-the-art Symphony Electric Breast Pumps. For more information, click here to visit our Women's and Children's program or call 856-582-3098.