Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Breastfeeding is the ‘foundation of life,’ and this Hampton group gave mothers info about it

There were representatives from baby-centered health organizations there to answer questions. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/HNNDaily)
There were representatives from baby-centered health organizations there to answer questions. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/HNNDaily)

HAMPTON — The city’s WIC Program and health department joined forces with Hampton Healthy Families to create an information session Thursday for mothers in honor of World Breastfeeding Week.

This year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week is foundation of life.

According to the world breastfeeding website, breastfeeding prevents hunger and malnutrition in all its forms and ensures food security for babies, even in times of crisis.

Donna Trolenberg, a lactation consultant from the Sentara Careplex Hospital said she sees education and outreach on breastfeeding a necessary thing when helping mothers.

Trolenberg is on call for mothers who have given birth at the Sentara Careplex hospital.

She said Sentara Careplex offers a variety of parenting classes that include breastfeeding courses for parents so that they know how to best feed and take care of their babies.

Trolenberg was not the only lactation consultant that was at the breastfeeding information session.

Heather Bradley is with the Langley Lactation Unit.

Langley sees mothers who are either dependents of service members or themselves active duty service members.

She said a lot of her work revolves around educating mothers on the importance of breastfeeding and helping them identify problems that may be making breastfeeding difficult.

Mothers can have many different kinds of challenges when it comes to breastfeeding, Bradley said.

A few of the challenges are milk delay because of the health status of the mother, complications with delivery, too short of a time between maternity leave and the mother’s return to work, and developmental issues the baby may have.

Her work revolves around working with both the mother and the baby to determine what they need help with and how to establish good breastfeeding habits.

Kathleen Crispens, breastfeeding peer counselor with WIC Program, works with mothers and children from pregnancy to age 5.

She said that a lot of times a first time mom will be unsure of how a newborn is supposed to act like so the program offers both prenatal and post-natal classes to help teach the mothers what they need to know and offer resources to help.

At the informational session there also were representatives from organizations that focus on early childhood development, kindergarten preparedness, physical therapy for developmentally disabled babies and other baby health focused groups.

Jennifer Gallegos, a mother of two and current breastfeeder of her 8-week-old son came to the information session to see what resources were available.

She said she is always eager to learn more about feeding her children.

To learn about World Breastfeeding Week and breastfeeding in general, click here. 

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