Liz Holliday

Communications Specialist

Spreading the word about breastfeeding benefits

Originally reported on July 31st, 2012 for KOAM News.

Freeman Hospital receives a grant to help develop the Southwest Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition to educate women on the benefits of putting down the baby bottle.  The new coalition is a joint effort with Mercy Hospital and the City of Joplin, and hopes to raise breastfeeding rates over the next three years.

New mom Stephanie Nixon always felt that breastfeeding her son Dalton was the natural thing to do, but that didn’t stop her from looking at other options.

“I did some research and formula babies are more likely to be overweight, more likely to have long term health issues than breast fed babies and that just reinforced my decision that I wanted to breast feed anyway,” says Nixon.

Breastfeeding levels in Missouri are lower than the national average and that’s why Freeman thought it was important to have vital information available for moms-to-be.

“A lot of it is just education,” says Project Coordinator Cathy Brown.  “Breastfeeding isn’t seen as a norm.  A lot of women see it as an additional way to feed a child but not the normal way to feed a child.”

Breast milk awareness is becoming a national trend.  New York City’s mayor has even suggested putting formula under lock and key to prevent new mothers from using it.

But lactation specialist Dee Alejandro says that’s not necessary.

“Wince the nurses don’t give formula unless it’s ordered, or unless mom asks for it, I really don’t think there is a need to lock it up,” says Alejandro.

According to the hospital newborns should be solely breast feed for the first six months of life.

Breast Feeding Awareness month starts August 1.  Supporters across the nation will use the month to educate the public about the benefits of breast milk, even if takes some getting used to.

One Response to “Spreading the word about breastfeeding benefits”

  1. Auth says:

    Kinda of along the lines of what coastinganon was siayng… I think the whole “to breastfeed or not to breastfeed” issue is, for most moms, the first time when you really have to pick your battles re: your LO.No parent is able to do everything they’d like to/for/with their child. It’s just not possible. And I think that as your kid gets older, you probably get more accustomed to the fact that you have limited time, money, energy, sanity… and therefore you sometimes have to say “Well, while it would probably be great for little Billy’s cognitive development if I were to sit here and show him stimulating high-contrast flash cards while singing nursery rhymes in Mandarin, I think that instead I will stick him in his swing while I take a shower and check Facebook for thirty minutes, after which I will be a much more excited mother and all-around pleasant person.”And I don’t know about you other first-time moms, but I was a crazy person those first few weeks post-partum, and it was really easy to get caught up in the idea that I still could do anything and everything that I’d ever wanted for my child! It wasn’t too late! I could breastfeed and cloth diaper and do EC and make him bilingual and engender a love of vegetables and classical music!And while I can still catch up on the vegetables and Mozart, breastfeeding is a “do it now or forever hold your peace (at least with this child)” kind of thing. And it really sucks to want to breastfeed and then face all kinds of challenges and think “really? I’m failing at something ALREADY?” And I really, really, really do not believe that choosing to formula feed is “failing”, but I do think that it’s easy to feel like it is in those first couple weeks if it’s something that you’d really wanted to do.