August 15, 2008
Supporting breastfeeding mothers

The mother and baby relationship is a wonderful bond, and breastfeeding is one way that a mother and her infant can build this special connection. Recently, countries across the globe celebrated World Breastfeeding Week Aug. 1 through 7 to further promote the many benefits of breastfeeding.

This year's theme, "Mother Support: Going for the Gold," was selected in honor of the Summer Olympics and calls for increased support for mothers in achieving the gold standard of infant nutrition: breastfeeding for the first six months, followed by breastfeeding coupled with other appropriate foods for up to two years or more.

a new mother and father"Believe it or not, a mother's need for support is similar to that of an Olympic athlete," says Germaine Lambergs, RNC, MGH lactation consultant. "Athletes need support to effectively compete in their sport, and in a similar way, a breastfeeding mother needs support to breastfeed – from her community, her family and her own and her baby's caregivers. Both an athlete and a breastfeeding mother face challenges. For the breastfeeding mother, these include overcoming misinformation, breastfeeding while working outside the home and most importantly, overcoming doubts about her ability to breastfeed her baby."

WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK: A new mother and father celebrate the benefits of breastfeeding.

To build awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, MGH lactation consultants hosted information tables on Blake 13 and Ellison 13 and in the  Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care Aug. 8. Lactation consultants were on hand to provide information about breastfeeding and hand out small gifts to new mothers.

The MGH Mother and Child Center hosts weekly breastfeeding support groups for mothers who breastfeed or bottle-feed. Meetings are facilitated by lactation consultants and a registered nurse each Tuesday at 10:30 am in the Satter Conference Room in the Yawkey Center. For more information about breastfeeding resources at the MGH, contact Marianne Pastore, RN, at

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