Having a newborn can be challenging, especially for first-time moms. Making the right decisions for your baby can set them up for a healthy start and improve theirs and our communities’ overall health.
Did you know that it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that infants be exclusively breastfed for approximately the first six months? Or that breastfeeding should continue while introducing appropriate complementary foods for one year or longer? However, only 85% of mothers are breastfeeding their newborns. For low-income, uninsured and underinsured mothers, that number falls to 75%.
Many of our new mothers and patients fall victim to these statistics and it can lead to negative health outcomes for our young community members. We are acutely aware of the difficulties mothers have with breastfeeding and want to teach our patients the benefits and give them lactation support so they feel empowered about their health and their baby’s health.
Our patients have expressed their need for lactation services and breastfeeding education. Providing our new moms with the tools and education needed to breastfeed their newborns will nurture healthy growth.
Gabriela, mom of two and an AltaMed patient, knows just how hard it is to breastfeed. “I never had a tough time breastfeeding with my first child, but when I gave birth the second time, my baby just wouldn’t latch. I told AltaMed my concerns and they were able to connect me with someone who helped me through the process and provided information that I didn’t know.”
Arlin Alger, one of our Women’s Health Educators, understands how important it is for new mothers in our community to receive lactation support. “A lot of our patients express how receiving lactation support after having baby, especially within the first couple days, has provided understanding on certain behaviors that baby might have, that are actually normal. Providing patients with the information on what to expect and what can be considered a warning sign can help ease mother’s fears. Also providing patients with signs of milk transfer and what to expect is very helpful.”
We currently have over 3,000 expecting patients and more than 600 of them are underinsured. This year, we’re packing and distributing lactation kits to our expectant moms. These kits will provide our patients with tips and the tools they need to properly breastfeed.
Become a lactation support champion in your community. Thousands of mothers in our community need your help to provide their children with a healthy start.
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