August 1st-7th is World Breastfeeding Week. Kate Copass, who is an internationally board-certified lactation consultant who works at Comanche County Memorial Hospital’s Infant Feeding Resource Center, said they always try to support moms during this week and throughout their entire breastfeeding journey along. She said she and others at CCMH also use this week to educate the community about the importance of breastfeeding.
“Mom’s milk is perfect for building their immune system, lots of immunological factors to really help them be healthy,” Copass said. “It’s huge on the impact of the life of a child. It’s not just the benefits that the child has during the first one or two years, but it’s a lifetime benefits that this child has received, the bonding that the mom and baby go through and the support partner there to help the mom is very beneficial.”
Nursing or pumping isn’t only good for the baby, but Copass said it’s also good for mom.
“It helps in decreasing their chances of getting breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis later on in life,” she said.
Mom and baby shouldn’t be on this journey alone. She said it’s important for the mom’s support partner to be there to help and support mom along with other family members.
Copass said she likes to start meeting with the moms-to-be to talk about how they’re planning to feed their babies at Comanche County Memorial Hospital’s Infant Feeding Resource Center while they’re still pregnant.
“So, I always like to work with the moms on setting small, short term goals,” Copass said. “You know, getting through the hospital stage, getting through the first big growth spurt, and then our long-term goals. Our recommendations are exclusively breastfed for the six months and when the baby is ready to add the complementary solid foods to their diet while continuing the breastfeed until they’re two or older.”
The center inside the hospital is staffed by internationally board-certified lactation consultants and registered nurses. She said they’re there to help any family who is nursing in the community. While they would like to see moms nurse their babies for at least a year, Copass said they’re going to support moms no matter what decision they make.
“I think it’s really important that we as a society are upholding and uplifting these moms to be able to be empowered to make these choices,” she said.