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Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding Support

Lactation specialists at St. Mary Medical Center are responsible for providing education, training, support and resource materials to nursing mothers. They visit new mothers at St. Mary who have decided to breastfeed their infants.

And to provide long-term support for breastfeeding moms, a lactation specialist coordinates Breastfeeding Support Groups for new moms on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend and registration is not required. For details, call 215-710-5988.

Breastfeeding Support Group, open to all new mothers, have been a huge success, averaging nearly a dozen or so participants at each session. The group meets in the Child Development Center behind the parking garage at St. Mary Medical Center on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and offers social interaction and breastfeeding support to mothers and their infants. Preschool children also are welcome to attend.

A popular activity is weighing the babies on a special scale before and after feedings. This pre and post weight calculates exactly how much milk a baby receives during a feeding. The Number One reason for early weaning is that mothers don’t think that they have enough milk for their baby!

The Lactation Station at the Beehive Gift Shop at St. Mary is a breastfeeding-support station that offers a ready supply of hard-to-find products, such as manual and electric breast pumps, breastmilk storage bags, protective nipple shells and nursing stools. Breastpump rentals also can be arranged through the gift shop. Call 215-710-2221 for details.

Benefits of Breastfeeding:

We believe more mothers would choose to breastfeed, a practice now recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, if they understood the significance of the benefits. More than 50 percent of new mothers, including working mothers, choose to breastfeed and most make that decision by the third month of pregnancy. Breastfeeding benefits to baby:

  • Safeguards against infections
  • Lowers the risk of asthma, colic, food allergies, diarrhea, and urinary tract infections
  • May reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Breastfed babies have fewer ear infections and fewer respiratory infections.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to develop diabetes and childhood cancers
  • And breastfeeding promotes development of the nervous system and can even raise IQ by 10 to 12 points.

At first, it was thought the increase in IQ was attributed to the emotional bonding associated with breastfeeding, but research has revealed that there is an omega 3 fatty acid in breast milk that enhances brain development. Preliminary Studies even indicate that certain benefits for breastfed babies can extend to 70 and 80 year-olds.

In general, breastfed babies have fewer illnesses, fewer doctors visits and fewer hospitalizations and as a result, lower healthcare costs.