HARRISBURG, PA – This year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week is " Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers. "
PinnacleHealth has exemplified this by their participation in Best Fed Beginnings, a national effort to improve breastfeeding rates, along with educational programs and information available for new mothers.
Breastfeeding is one of the most effective,
preventive health measures for infants and mothers. Benefits for infants include decreasing the incidence and severity of many infectious diseases, reducing infant mortality, and optimally supporting neurodevelopment. Breastfeeding also decreases the infant’s risk of becoming obese later in childhood. For mothers, breastfeeding decreases the risks of breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.
With participation in Best Fed Beginnings, PinnacleHealth has embarked on a journey to implement the " 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding "
as defined by Baby Friendly USA and the World Health Organization. The " 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding "
includes mothers making informed decisions about method of feeding their babies, understanding the benefits and management of breastfeeding, and practicing "rooming in" (where mothers and infants are cared for together 24 hours a day). Babies and mothers are placed skin-to-skin shortly after birth and throughout the hospital stay to maintain baby’s temperature, to support breastfeeding, and to promote bonding. Mothers are taught how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants. In addition, nurses and other health care providers receive education to support mothers in providing the best beginnings for mothers and infants.
PinnacleHealth offers lactation services with lactation consultants and healthcare professionals trained in the technique and science of breastfeeding to assist mothers having difficulty breastfeeding or dealing with special needs. Support for breastfeeding includes breastfeeding classes and a lactation clinic for services after discharge. In addition, Nursing Mothers Counselors offer breastfeeding support and education. Kenneth Oken, MD, Chairman of PinnacleHealth Obstetrics and Gynecology acknowledges and thanks the community support groups that assist new mothers with breast feeding, " These women play a vital role in helping mothers to initiate and sustain exclusive breast feeding, we thank them for their support and commitment."
PinnacleHealth is an essential community member in promoting the health of central Pennsylvania through supporting mothers and babies with the best start through breastfeeding. For more information concerning pregnancy and childbirth and lactation services at PinnacleHealth, please visit our website at www.pinnaclehealth.org/maternity
or call (717) 231-8998 to speak to a nurse educator.
About PinnacleHealth System
PinnacleHealth is a pioneer not-for-profit healthcare system dedicated to providing and improving the health and quality of life for the people of Central Pennsylvania since 1873. A proven leader in medical innovation, PinnacleHealth offers a wide range of services from primary care to the most complex surgeries and Magnet recognition for nursing excellence. The healthcare network includes four campuses (Community, West Shore, Harrisburg and Polyclinic) and medical services, including family practice, imaging, outpatient surgery and oncology, at multiple locations throughout the region. For a complete list of services, visit our website at www.pinnaclehealth.org