St. Mary’s Sacred Heart creates a special room for breastfeeding
St. Mary's Sacred Heart Hospital Mother/Baby Unit offers a private room available for visitors, patients and colleagues who need to breastfeed or pump while at the Lavonia campus.
The room is part of a system-wide Breastfeeding Friendly initiative to encourage breastfeeding as an investment in good health for both the baby and the mother. In addition, St. Mary's Health Care System is encouraging other businesses to establish breastfeeding rooms of their own to help make breastfeeding more comfortable and more widely practiced.
"Numerous studies in the United States and around the world show breastfeeding is the best way to nourish a baby," said Brenda Powell, manager of Sacred Heart's Mother/Baby Unit. "Human breastmilk is ideally suited to meet a growing baby's nutritional needs."
Benefits for infants include reduced risks of asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and ear and respiratory infections. Benefits for mothers include lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Just the act of holding a baby for feeding lowers stress and promotes bonding between the mother and baby.
Sacred Heart Hospital's breastfeeding room is NW225, located on the 2nd Floor. Breastfeeding or pumping mothers from the community should check in at the front desk for assistance finding it. If you are pumping, please be sure to bring all equipment and supplies with you. For privacy, use of the room is first-come, first-served.
"Breastfeeding is entirely natural, but it's not always accepted the way it should be," Powell said. "Breastfeeding-friendly rooms like ours provide a quiet, comfortable, clean, and safe place where moms and babies can relax, which helps with pumping, milk flow and latching on."
In addition to providing the private breastfeeding room, St. Mary's Sacred Heart Hospital discusses breastfeeding during its prepared childbirth class. This free, 4-week series meets on Tuesdays and covers a variety of topics, including fetal development, the process of labor, pain management alternatives and breathing techniques. Mothers are encouraged to begin classes around the 28th week of pregnancy. Also, mothers who encounter problems with breastfeeding after discharge can call the unit for assistance, or consult with the lactation consultants at their local health department.
For more information, call Sacred Heart Hospital at 706.356.7800 and ask for the Mother/Baby Unit.
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