Category Archives: Strip District La Leche League

Surgeon General Supports La Leche League

The Surgeon General has written a nation wide call to action to support breastfeeding! I have reprinted it below along with some links to follow. The Surgeon General also pointed out that community-based support groups, like La Leche League are very important in supporting breastfeeding mothers. Enjoy!

New Report Calls on all Pennsylvanians to Support Breastfeeding

State College, PA—Three out of four women in the United States provide their infants with the healthiest start in life by breastfeeding, and today Surgeon General Regina Benjamin called on the entire nation to support the removal of barriers to this important public health behavior. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding is an unprecedented document from the nation’s highest medical source, calling on health care providers, employers, insurers, policymakers, researchers, and the community at large to take 20 concrete action steps to support mothers in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals.

The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition applauds the Call to Action, which is based on the latest evidence about the health, psychosocial, economic, and environmental effects of breastfeeding. The document includes action steps and implementation strategies for six major sectors of society:

Mothers and their Families: emphasizes the need to educate and inform families about the importance of breastfeeding, and provide the ongoing support mothers need to continue.

Communities: calls upon the entire community to support breastfeeding mothers, including the provision of peer counseling support, promotion of breastfeeding through community-based organizations and traditional and new media venues, and the removal of commercial barriers to breastfeeding.

Health Care: urges the health care system to adopt evidence-based practices as outlined in the Baby- Friendly Hospital Initiative, provide health professional education and training, ensure access to skilled, professional lactation care services, and increase availability of banked donor milk.

Employment: calls for paid maternity leave and worksite and child care accommodations that support women when they return to work.

Research and Surveillance: emphasizes the need for additional research, especially regarding the most effective ways to address disparities and measure the economic impact of breastfeeding, and calls for a national monitoring system.

Public Health Infrastructure: calls for enhanced national leadership, including creation of a federal interagency work group, and increasing the capacity of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and affiliated state coalitions.

The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition (PABC) was established in 1992 by breastfeeding advocates from across the Commonwealth to facilitate community and statewide efforts to protect, support and promotes breastfeeding as the cultural norm. PABC is an affiliate of the United States Breastfeeding Committee. PABC members include many of the country’s experts working in each of the sectors in the Call to Action. Our membership has partnered on numerous projects in recent years with both public and private entities to implement changes in Pennsylvania’s Breastfeeding Landscape.

According to PABC Chair Cynthia Bartok, “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, in calling for society-wide breastfeeding support to remove the barriers that make it difficult for many women to succeed, provides new motivation and a greater sense of authority to forward our mission. PABC urges Pennsylvanians to be proactive in using these action steps to extend support so that mothers throughout our state get the care, help, and encouragement they deserve.”

For more information on the Call to Action, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov.

To receive updates and information from USBC, please consider signing on to support Breastfeeding: A Vision for the Future at www.usbreastfeeding.org/vision.

USBC publications, including an analysis of the barriers to exclusive breastfeeding, can be downloaded from www.usbreastfeeding.org/publications

For more information on the Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition visit our website at www.pabreastfeeding.org

Working and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding moms who are going to work outside of their homes can use strategies for making it work. Here are some books which provide that support. Not every strategy works for every working mom. You need as many options as possible. Check these out: “Working Without Weaning: a Working Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding” by Kirsten Berggren. Written by a lactation consultant who belonged to a group of working moms. Her friends swapped strategies about what worked for them. Recommended to me by a local hospital lactation consultant: “The Milk Memos: How Real moms Learned to Mix Business with Babies and How You Can, Too”. Milk Memos are funny to read as well as helpful. On the La Leche League Website you can find “Of Cradles & Careers: A Guide to Reshaping Your Job to Include a Baby in Your Life. There is the inspirational book: “Hirkani’s Daughters: Women Who Scale Modern Mountains to Combine Breastfeeding and Working”. Hirkani’s Daughters is a compilation of mother’s stories of how they made breastfeeding and working outside the home happen.

If you are a breastfeeding woman and you plan to return to work, you will do yourself a favor with these books. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Other mothers’ wisdom and experience can help you choose what is right for you and your baby.

I’m an IBCLC

I just heard back from the IBCLE (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners) that I passed my international test. I am now an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). That means that I can offer breastfeeding help and support as a lactation consultant now. Yippee! I’m looking forward to helping more mothers nurse their babies and overcome any difficulties they might have.