Month (BAM) in Ohio
August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month (BAM) in Ohio. Governor Strickland is urging all Ohioans to support breastfeeding. This year’s BAM theme, “BreastfeedingJust 10 Steps! The Baby-Friendly Way,” focuses on the ten evidence-based hospital practices that support new mothers’ breastfeeding intentions. According to www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org, these 10 steps are:
1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to healthcare staff.
2. Train all healthcare staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
7. Practice rooming in--allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
Hospitals play a vital role in the establishment of breastfeeding. Washington-Morgan county WIC would like to publicly thank area maternity hospitals for the concern and care they have provided over the years to our WIC participants. We appreciate their support for our breastfeeding mothers and babies.
Health care facilities that have instituted all the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are certified as “Baby-Friendly” hospitals. Currently in Ohio there are three certified Baby-Friendly Hospitals. Breastfeeding provides better health outcomes than formula feeding for both the mother and baby. Exclusive breastfeeding for six months, beginning with the hospital birth experience, is the ideal recommended by pediatricians. According to Fit Pregnancy magazine, breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life can help reduce their chance of developing different illnesses and childhood obesity.
Washington-Morgan Community Action Washington and Morgan Counties, Ohio
218 Putnam Street, Marietta, OH 45750 (740) 373-3745
50 W. Third Street, PO Box 398, Malta, OH 43758 (740) 962-3827