April 4, 2011

Supporting breastfeeding

U.S. surgeon general issues call to action

Breastfeeding an infant is just another natural part of human life.

“Babies are born to breastfeed. It’s normal. It’s what is suppose to happen,” said lactation consultant Jacinta Langley of Logansport Memorial Hospital .

While not all new mothers decide to breastfeed, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin is hoping to encourage more to do so.

Earlier this year, the surgeon general issued a call to action to support breastfeeding.

The call was directed at health care providers, employers, insurers, policy makers, researchers and the community to support mothers in reaching breastfeeding goals.

Langley believes the call to action was a good move.

“I think by addressing it, it makes people more aware of why it’s important,” she said.

While interest in breastfeeding seems to have increased in recent years, Langley said that wasn’t always the case.

“For so long, it became not the norm to breastfeed,” said Langley. “People are seeing formula is not the same as breastfeeding.”

When a mother makes the decision to breastfeed, the results are healthier moms and babies, she added.

Logansport Memorial Hospital staff members encourage mothers to consider breastfeeding.

“We are happy with the decision to breastfeed. Any amount is beneficial, but we like to encourage six months,” Langley said.

According to a news release from the Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana is already responding to this call of action.

Promoting breastfeeding is also a goal for the Indiana Comprehensive Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan 2010-2020.

Two of the objectives in the plan include: Enhancing and maintaining a statewide network of local breastfeeding partnership and professionals breastfeeding experts by 2015 and by 2020, increase the percentage of mothers who breastfeed their babies at 6 months from 37 percent to 50 percent.

“It’s up to all of us to make Indiana a place where new mothers and babies can experience the many, many benefits of breastfeeding,”

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