Arkansas Methodist Medical Center
Home Contact Us Search: 
AMMC skycam
Follow us on: FaceBookFaceBook

The Joint Commission


AMMC Hosts Mommy and Me Breastfeeding Support Group Meeting August 2012

Shay Willis July 27, 2012

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center and the Greene County Health Unit are hosting a monthly breastfeeding class for new and expectant mothers on Monday, August 20, 2012 from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm in the auditorium in the Professional Office Building at AMMC. This class is an opportunity for new and expectant mothers to meet other moms and share experiences. 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. According to McGrew, "Our classes are intended to empower women to meet their personal breastfeeding goals and this particular gathering, during World Breastfeeding Week, is the perfect opportunity to achieve that task."

While malnutrition plagues numerous developing countries, rates of obesity are at an all-time high in many developed countries, with the highest prevalence in the United States and Mexico. The health and nutritional status of mothers and infants are directly linked, making appropriate infant feeding a critical first step in preventing these and a variety of other medical conditions. "Poor feeding practices can lead to malnutrition and obesity, and contribute to an overall decline in the health and welfare of the population," said Cathy Carothers, President of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA). Research shows that infants who are not exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life are also more likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases and conditions including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and respiratory illnesses. In addition, mothers who do not breastfeed are at an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Keeping breastfeeding high on the public health agenda is critical to improving global health. Early and exclusive breastfeeding with the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding
around six months of age ensures that both mothers and infants receive maximum health
benefits. The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, jointly developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), serves as a roadmap toward a renewed commitment to exclusive breastfeeding beginning in the first hour of birth to achieve optimal health outcomes. The Global Strategy is celebrating 10 years of guiding infant feeding in 2012.

In honor of that anniversary, the topic of World Breastfeeding Week 2012 (August 1-7, 2012) is "Understanding the Past-Planning the Future: Celebrating 10 Years of WHO/UNICEF’s Global Strategy for Infant and Youth Child Feeding". Building on the concept that the Global Strategy serves as a roadmap for actions to protect, promote and support breastfeeding to achieve maximum health benefits, World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated with the ILCA theme, "The Road to Lifelong Health Begins with Breastfeeding."

This road to lifelong health is not one for mothers and babies to travel alone. "While breastfeeding is a learned behavior, it is important to remember that the journey to successful breastfeeding begins with support of families, healthcare providers, governments, employers and communities," said Carothers. ILCA provides abundant resources, including a "Find a Lactation Consultant" Directory that helps new mothers access local International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) who can help navigate the way to successful breastfeeding and ultimately to sustained health. ILCA’s "Worksite Lactation Support Directory" provides a listing of IBCLCs with specific expertise in helping employers set up lactation programs to help mothers continue breastfeeding after they return to work.

For more information about World Breastfeeding Week or IBCLCs, visit the ILCA website at