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The Joint Commission


AMMC Recognizes 2011 World Breastfeeding Week

Shay Nanke July 28, 2011

WHO: Arkansas Methodist Medical Center and the Greene County Health Unit

WHAT: 2011 World Breastfeeding Week Community Awareness Event

WHEN: Friday, August 5, 2011 from 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Arkansas Methodist Medical Center Professional Office Building Auditorium
1000 W. Kingshighway

This event is free to the public and no reservation is required. For more information, please call AMMC’s Board Certified Lactation Consultant Tritia McGrew, RN at (870) 239-7467.

Although breastfeeding is a special, intimate time between a mother and baby, a strong support network makes all the difference in mothers achieving their breastfeeding goals. With the resources of the Internet and mobile phones, connections for support are now much greater than just face-to-face. This growth in communication networks with family, friends, health professionals and others is celebrated during World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) with the slogan "Breastfeeding Support: Stay Connected!"

"It is easier for mothers to reach their breastfeeding goals when they have support," notes Tritia McGrew, RN, IBCLC. Research shows that when mothers get breastfeeding help from family, friends, employers and professionals like International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), they resolve questions and problems quicker and become more satisfied with their breastfeeding experience. This in turn helps mothers and babies achieve the significant health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months. To achieve these goals, breastfeeding families need hands-on and heartfelt support in their local communities.

However, because many new mothers are increasingly isolated from family, or do not have easy access to knowledgeable breastfeeding support resources, they are also making connections through the Internet. Chat rooms, forums, networks and websites are devoted toward connecting mothers with each other to share ideas, frustrations and successes. Social media sites such as Facebook give families new means by which to connect over great distances.

Social media and mobile phones can also help mothers to more easily connect with breastfeeding professionals. Texting is supplementing traditional telephone counseling and families can download a variety of apps for smart phones and computers to help manage schedules, learn about breastfeeding and even find breastfeeding-friendly locations as they shop or travel. The World Breastfeeding Week theme and logo underscore the many ways mothers can seek and receive breastfeeding support anytime and anywhere.

Accessing such information can be daunting, and many mothers turn to International Board Certified Lactation Consultants for recommendations, as well as personalized help with breastfeeding. "International Board Certified Lactation Consultants are the health professional specializing in breastfeeding protection, promotion and support," according to Cathy Carothers, President of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA). "They can help mothers sort through the flood of information to find content that is evidence-based rather than "urban legend" or misinformation. IBCLCs can provide reassurance to help mothers feel confident in their understanding of breastfeeding and empowered to reach their breastfeeding goals."

The International Lactation Consultant Association provides numerous resources to help families connect with support, including a "Find a Lactation Consultant Directory" that helps new mothers access International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) in their community. Their "Worksite Lactation Support Directory" provides a listing of IBCLCs with specific expertise in helping employers set up lactation programs, whereas the "Lactation Care Award Directory" highlights hospital and birthing centers which offer high levels of care by IBCLCs.

For more information about IBCLCs, visit the ICLA website at