Saturday, October 5, 2013
The first week of August 2013 was World Breastfeeding Week, and it was celebrated worldwide. The theme was Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers. It highlights the importance of providing support to breastfeeding families.
Infant feeding is one of the most important decisions new families make. Evidence shows that breastfeeding is the ideal way to feed an infant. Research shows that infants who are not exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life are more likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, obesity and respiratory illnesses.
Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding, with a lower risk for breast and ovarian cancers, and other health advantages.
Most mothers want to breastfeed. But many face multiple and complex barriers that keep them from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. Support and encouragement from all angles can make success possible for mothers who wish to breastfeed. Negative attitudes from the mother’s closest support network, her family and friends, can pose a big barrier, making it difficult for mothers and infants to successfully breastfeed.
Elizabeth Brooks, International Lactation Consultant Association president, said, “Learning how to breastfeed takes time and patience for new mothers and infants. It is important to remember families, friends, healthcare providers, employers, childcare providers, communities, and even the media play a crucial role in mother’s overall success with breastfeeding.”
The right kind of breastfeeding support can build a mother’s confidence with breastfeeding — and the local community plays an important role in this.
Healthcare providers and legislators can support breastfeeding by adopting policies and practices that assume breastfeeding is the normal feeding method for infants.
Employers can provide support by ensuring mothers have a private place, and flexible work options for mothers to express milk. They can provide flexible feeding schedules that coordinate with parent’s need.
Breastfeeding peer counselors, mother-to-mother support groups, the Women Infants and Children program, hospital and health department lactation consultants can all provide a wealth of knowledge and support to breastfeeding families.
The state of Oregon provides state laws supporting back-to-work breastfeeding mothers. Also, to further support breastfeeding, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a Breastfeeding Proclamation encouraging all Oregonians to join in the observance of Breastfeeding Promotion Month.
Parents interested in joining a breastfeeding support group can contact Jennifer McCauley at 541-387-6344 or Ellen Mallon at 541-387-7131.
Healthy Active Hood River County is our community healthy living coalition. We promote wellness through increased physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco use prevention and policy and environmental change.
Join us at our next meeting, Nov. 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the boardroom at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge