Photo by Jordan Whitt
With World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) scheduled for Aug. 1-7, the Las Vegas Urban League Nutrition Education Centers – WIC continues to do its part to educate Southern Nevada families on the numerous health benefits of breastfeeding.
WBW is a global campaign created to raise awareness and issue a call to action on themes related to breastfeeding. It is held every Aug. 1-7 in commemoration of the 1990 Innocenti Declaration, which stated that all women should be enabled to practice exclusive breastfeeding, and all infants should be fed exclusively on breast milk up to 6 months and to continue breastfeeding up to 2 years, according to WHO for optimal maternal and child nutrition.
“It is an honor and privilege to provide breastfeeding support and education that prepares our families for an incredible and rewarding journey with their new babies,” Semaj Bruce, IBCLC Breastfeeding Program Coordinator at Las Vegas Urban League – WIC, said. “We want parents to know that they can call our offices or come by and get an appointment for breastfeeding consultation the same day 24/7 in real-time. Additionally, our breastfeeding team can be reached on our web site www.wiclv.org and our social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Research shows that the introduction of colostrum, the first milk introduced to newborns the first 3 to 5 days, is concentrated with antibodies. It’s like giving our newborns their first immune shot. Colostrum aka liquid gold is the perfect amount for newborns when fed frequently and it promotes the developing gastrointestinal tract and immune system. When families breastfed, babies have fewer colds and ear infections, a baby’s brain, and immune system benefits from the nutrients in breast milk, breast milk is always the right temperature and breastfeeding builds a close bond between the mother, father, and infant.
Besides educating parents on the benefits of mother’s milk, Las Vegas Urban League – WIC’s breastfeeding program provides essential information. This includes educating on a variety of breast pumps on the market, how to store breast milk in storage bags, how to acquire special-needs bottles, and acquiring information on all the kinds of related feeding tools available.
Fathers play a vital role as part of the breastfeeding team. When fathers understand breastmilk is the best for their child they are more at ease with the journey because fathers only want the best for their children. Fathers can interact with their baby, hold them, and love them in between feedings or help around the house when mom is breastfeeding to give her a rest. He can take the baby to mom when it’s time to begin breastfeeding to cement a bond between both parents, praise mom while breastfeeding to make her feel good or do something special for her once the feeding is completed.
“We believe passionately that the role a father contributes is extremely important, so important that we have structured a special peer to peer fathers’ class to assist fathers in recognizing their value to the successful nutritional needs of their children recognized through breastfeeding,” said Bruce.
“Skin-to-skin contact helps a baby and father bond by reducing stress levels and regulating heartbeats and body temperature. There are many ways fathers can give support during breastfeeding, and that contribution can be shared through this class or with one or one consultations. It’s not difficult at all and requires minimal time with maximum results and most of all, it’s very self-rewarding.”
The Las Vegas Urban League Nutrition Education Centers Women, Infants, and Children Program are a 501c (3) program that is funded by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health.
For more information, visit the Urban League WIC website at www.wiclv.org or their two locations: 6480 W. Flamingo Road, Suite B, Las Vegas, phone (702) 227-1573 or 3320 E. Flamingo Road, Suite 50, Las Vegas, phone (702) 476-9561.