Today's women are much more savvy about their newborn's health thanks to public outreach by institutions such as Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District recently hosting its inaugural breast feeding testimonial.
April Hale, RN and KYMA news anchor Jenny Day duringthe Live, Love, Latch event at PMHD breastfeeding celebration, August 24.
Photo Credit: William Roller
The Live, Love, Latch event celebrated nursing mothers with a lunch and giveaways at the PMHD auditorium, August 24. It was in tandem with National Breastfeeding month, honored since 2011 when sanctioned by the United States Breastfeeding Committee.
The event commemorated all new moms since it can sometimes be difficult to breastfeed explained April Hale, PMHD RN and board certified lactation consultant. So she began a Facebook page: breastfeeding@pioneers. Those interested, friend the association and they will be included in the discussion group.
"A lot of new mom's need questions answered, some pretty simple, but they need that additional support," said Hale. "This new generation of mom's is really into social media and it's a great way to keep in touch with our partners. We have health professionals from San Diego and Los Angeles and former Valley residents to offer support."
Rissa and Ciaran Mandel during the Live, Love, Latch event at PMHD.
One of the new moms was Ariel Walk whose 11 week old daughter, Ariela Rose was born premature at 36 weeks and weighed a scant 5 pounds 15 ounces. Breastfeeding should never hurt remarked Walk but it does consume plenty of time and new mothers need a dialogue with husbands.
"Some soreness comes from the body not being accustomed to breastfeeding yet but you should never feel pain," Walk told the packed auditorium. "Know when your 'plate' is full, ask your husband if he can put dinner on and pitch-in with chores."
Walk also recommends leaning on new mothers for insider information. "My mother didn't breast feed me so I couldn't ask her for help. Look for new a mom groups: Mommy & Me at First Presbyterian Church, Brawley."
That first hour after birth is known as the Golden Hour and is a critical time for the mother and child to be alone noted Hale. That is when a mother makes colostrum, a special first milk that is extra thick and is full of protein and antibodies that keeps a baby from getting sick.
"The baby does better with skin-to-skin contact and the mother needs this time alone to help the baby adapt to a new world outside the uterus after weeks of gestation," said Hale.
She went on that latching on, getting the baby in a comfortable position is very important because it helps the baby to get enough milk but also prevents soreness to the breast and helps breasts produce more milk. "And it's a great way to bond with your baby," added Hale.
Offering kudos to Hale's expertise were Matt Mandel and wife Riisa, Hale's sister who arrived from Tucson. Riisa's son Ciaran, 3, had initially lost 10 percent of his weight after birth.
"But April taught me how to supplement his nutrition with my own breast milk, and Ciaran gained back the weight he lost and now he's perfectly healthy," said Riisa. "I’m expecting another baby boy in December and we'll call on April again."
Also very pleased with the help of the PMHD staff is Alexis Navarette, who was with her son Elijah, 4 months, born at PMHD. He was born "sunnyside up" facing up at birth and the delivery required additional time but there were no complications. And Navarette is consulting frequently with Hale. But with her older son, Issaiah she did not breast feed because she was not as informed.
Alexis and son, Elijah Navarette during the Live, Love, Latch event at PMHD on August 24.
Photo Credit: William Roller
"April has helped a lot," said Naverrette. "And PMHD follows up with breastfeeding moms calling them and mom's can use their Facebook page. Elijiah is a little cranky because he's teething and scratches his mouth, although he's not a crier but a great sleeper. Yet my first son fed on formula and he had difficulty sleeping, not like this one."