In 2011, the United States Breastfeeding Committee designated August as National Breastfeeding Month. Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital supports the effort to recognize that breastfeeding provides a strong emotional connection between mother and infant; provides a safe, reliable and renewable food source; and is a proven primary prevention strategy, protecting both infants and mothers from a host of chronic and acute diseases and conditions.
Breastfeeding can lower a mother’s risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of asthma, obesity, Type 1 diabetes, severe lower respiratory disease, ear infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and gastrointestinal infections.
“Breastfeeding provides unmatched health benefits for babies and mothers. It is the clinical gold standard for infant feeding and nutrition, with breast milk uniquely tailored to meet the health needs of a growing baby. We must do more to create supportive and safe environments for mothers who choose to breastfeed,” said Dr. Ruth Petersen, director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.
Most mothers want to breastfeed but stop early due to lack of ongoing support. And while breastfeeding is natural, ALMH recognizes that it doesn’t always come naturally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in four infants is exclusively breastfed as recommended by the time they are 6 months old. These low rates add more than $3 billion a year to medical costs for the mother and child in the United States. Black infants are 15% less likely to have ever been breastfed than white infants.
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital is proud to support local breastfeeding mothers, regardless of where they birth their babies with a free, weekly breastfeeding support experience. Each Wednesday between 12pm – 1:30pm, new mothers and their infants are invited to meet with an ALMH Family Maternity Suites registered nurse who has earned a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) certification. Time can be spent asking questions, weighing the baby and receiving any support needed to ensure success.
The breastfeeding meetings are held in a safe environment for mothers and babies and has been adjusted to accommodate COVID-19 precautions. Upon arrival to the ALMH, a temperature check and screening is completed and masks are provided. The number of participants are limited and siblings are not allowed to attend at this time to ensure social distancing. All surfaces are sanitized to ensure a safe environment. For those who are not able to attend the support meetings, a 24 hours a day breastfeeding support line can be reached at 217-605-5233 offering free access to an ALMH registered nurse. Mothers interested in the breastfeeding support in-person meetings can call 217-605-5231. There are no reservations required.
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital located at 200 Stahlhut Drive in Lincoln, Illinois. ALMH is an affiliate of Memorial Health System. For more information, visit www.ALMH.org.