While Cox Medical Center Branson is observing World Breastfeeding Week by hosting a reception on Wednesday, Aug. 6, working to encourage mothers to breastfeed is something that is done year-round at Cox Branson.
“We work with new moms at the hospital every day to help provide them with hands-on experience with breastfeeding,” explained Melanie Lavoi, RN, who serves as a lactation consultant at Cox Medical Center Branson. “After each mother is discharged, we also follow up and so we are able to reach out and continue to consult with those moms who are breastfeeding even after they have gone home.”
Cox Branson also has International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Colleen Keeter on staff to answer questions and assist mothers.
Cox Branson does not wait until a mother gives birth to encourage breastfeeding however.
Once a month, Lavoi hosts a breastfeeding class in the CoxHealth Outpatient Center in Branson. The class, held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Education Room, Suite 406, provides information for expectant mothers on the advantages of breastfeeding and how to breastfeed.
Lavoi explained that they put so much effort into helping mothers be successful because breastfeeding can have a positive impact on the first few years of child’s life as well as provide lifelong benefits to both mother and child.
“Immunity against infections is the greatest contribution breast milk gives our babies,” Lavoi said. “Evidence-based research has revealed that a breastfed child is healthier and is at less risk for developing respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections and disease processes. It has also been proven to show that they are less apt to develop diabetes and less apt to have obesity issues.”
There are also benefits for mothers too.
“For mom, they have fewer tendencies to develop ovarian and uterine cancer,” Lavoi explained. “Also moms have less incidence of developing diabetes and if they do, it is very late onset in life.”
Breastfeeding also burns about 500 calories a day.
A good network of supportive family members and friends plays a large part in a mother’s success.
“Most women do very well and choose to breastfeed if they have a network of either family or friends, or their culture supports breastfeeding,” Lavoi said.
The reception will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, in the Cox Branson OB waiting area when staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide information. Refreshments will be provided.
For more information about the breastfeeding class, call 348-8313.