July 23, 2022 Healthy Living

Celebrating the power of breastfeeding to impact health and wealth

The importance of breastfeeding is celebrated around the globe every year from August 1 to August 7. Led by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), the annual World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) campaign aims to inform, anchor, engage, and galvanize action to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. This year’s theme, Step up for Breastfeeding, aims to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding across different levels of society.

In the United States, health professionals and organizations tend to emphasize the health benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby. But that’s not the only reason it’s important. The WBW theme is a powerful reminder of the important role breastfeeding plays in managing the double burden of malnutrition. Breastfeeding providers food security and reduces inequalities.

First-time mom and CDPHP member, Alexa, shares her experience with breastfeeding her son.

“People would always talk about breastfeeding and I never really understood. As a first-time mom, it was overwhelming, but I slowly learned.

“As I started breastfeeding, I realized how it could support the bonding experience, provide the best nutrients for my baby, and that it was the ultimate convenience. Breastfeeding made middle-of-the-night feedings easier because I knew I had my child’s food ready to go. Overall, I found it to be so cool that my body produced food continually for my baby. Nutrition in its most natural, pure form right from my body to my new son. I was always in awe that my body was doing that.

“The lactation specialists in the hospital were amazing and were the reason I was able to start on the right foot with breastfeeding. They provided ample resources – a support group, a phone number to call whenever I had questions, and more. Their support didn’t end when I was discharged from the hospital, and I was so grateful for that.

“I added pumping to my regimen about a month after the baby was born. I found it to be so helpful because I could pump the milk, store it for that day, and then my husband could help feed the baby so it wasn’t all falling on me. I also loved having the option to freeze the milk so that I had more food stocked up for when we needed it in the future. CDPHP made it so easy to find a breast pump that was covered on my plan and worked for my family. The Breastfeeding Support Guide is a great resource for moms who are also interested in this option or other breastfeeding support that CDPHP offers.

“One thing that might be a little unconventional but what I believe truly helped me continue to breastfeed was supplementing with formula. It seems like many people think it’s all breastfeeding or all formula – and I found that was not the case. I still wanted to provide my baby with pure nutrients and the benefits of breastmilk, but I needed a little reprieve and flexibility. I eventually cut back on breastfeeding a couple times a day and gave my baby formula instead. It was the best of both worlds! Striking that balance helped me breastfeed longer than I thought I ever would because I didn’t get burned out.”

smiling baby

World Breastfeeding Week events in the Capital Region

Looking for some extra support? Or just feel like celebrating or connecting with other breastfeeding moms and families in your community in honor of World Breastfeeding Week? See what’s happening this August 1-7 in the Capital Region:

Date and timeEvent nameLocation
Monday, August 1
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
(Every first and third Monday of each month at this time)
Schenectady County Baby CaféMount Pleasant Branch Library
And virtual
Click for more information
Tuesday, August 2
12 noon – 2 p.m.
(Baby Café also open every Tuesday at this time)
St. Peter’s Health Partners Baby CaféVirtual
Click for more information
Tuesday, August 2
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
(Every second and fourth Tuesday of each month at this time)
Schenectady County Baby CaféPhyllis Bornt Brand Library and Literacy Center
And virtual
Click for more information
Wednesday, August 3
12 noon – 2 p.m.
(Baby Café also open every Wednesday at this time)
St. Peter’s Health Partners Baby CaféVirtual
Click for more information
Wednesday, August 3
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
(Every first and third Wednesday of each month at this time)
St. Peter’s Health Partners Baby CaféVirtual
Click for more information
Thursday, August 4
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
(Baby Café also open every Wednesday at this time)
St. Peter’s Health Partners Baby CaféVirtual
Click for more information
Thursday, August 4
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Instagram Live: Breastfeeding Support with Ovia HealthFollow Ovia Health on Instagram at @oviahealth

Note: Dates and times may be subject to change.

Additional community resources:

KellyMom | Created by Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC, individuals can visit this internationally recognized website for educational, evidence-based information on breastfeeding and parenting.

Ask Dr. Sears | William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN have been practicing pediatric medicine for over 30 years. Visit their website for information on the many stages of family planning.

La Leche League International | Formed by seven mothers in 1956, in Franklin Park, IL, LLLI is primarily focused on personal one-on-one sharing of information and encouragement surrounding breastfeeding. Explore the website for a variety of resources, support, and more.

Breastfeeding Promotion, Protection, and Support | On this New York State Department of Health webpage, information for individuals, health care providers, child care providers, and employers and worksites can be found regarding the promotion of breastfeeding.

Growing Up Healthy Hotline | Offered by the New York State Department of Health, this program aims to help pregnant and parenting people find the help they need. Visit the webpage to learn more or call 1-800-522-5006 for immediate assistance.

Maternity Care | St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) is dedicated to the communities and individuals they serve. Information on SPHP obstetrics program, family bonding, support services, and more can be found on this website.

Healthy Families | Offered by St. Peter’s Health Partners, this free, voluntary program provides parenting support to qualifying families. Visit the webpage to learn how to enroll and more.

Successful breastfeeding takes support and preparation, and CDPHP is here to help. *CDPHP covers breast pumps, breastfeeding classes, and breastfeeding assistance with a lactation consultant. To learn more, check out an earlier blog post on breastfeeding benefits with your health plan or refer to the CDPHP maternity benefits guide.

*Participation in these services is dependent on plan type and may not apply for self-funded plan members. Please check your member contract or call the number on your ID card to see if you’re eligible.


 

Elise Shaver
About Author

Elise Shaver joined CDPHP® in February 2021 as a marketing communications coordinator. A native of the Capital Region, Elise earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Siena College. She brings several years of experience in both the marketing and not-for-profit industry. Elise enjoys the outdoors, gardening, and spending time with her family.

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