Cobb & Douglas Public Health joins “Big Latch On” to support breastfeeding

Women at a previous Big Latch On eventPhoto from a previous Big Latch On event (Courtesy of Dulce Light Photography, © Dianne Lee Dunn - used with permission)

Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) and Breastfeed Atlanta are going all out to reinforce a mother’s choice to breastfeed their babies. Although most mothers want to breastfeed, they often stop based on a lack of ongoing support, according to Atlanta’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Big Latch On

Once again, the CDPH is joining the annual Global “Big Latch On” event to celebrate and encourage breastfeeding in Cobb and Douglas Counties. This year’s ‘Big Latch On’ will be held on Friday, August 3, 2018, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Marietta campus Health Center, Building B —1738 County Services Parkway, Marietta, GA 30008.

The event is sponsored by Cobb & Douglas Public Health’s (CDPH) Women, Infant, & Children Supplemental Nutrition (WIC) program and Breastfeed Atlanta.

Why breastfeed?

Ruth Petersen, Director, MD, MPH

Why breastfeed? For one thing, “breastfeeding provides unmatched health benefits for babies and mothers,” says CDC’s Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Dr. Ruth Petersen.

“Breastfeeding is the clinical gold standard for infant feeding and nutrition,” Petersen says.

According to the CDC, infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, ear and respiratory infections and sudden infant death syndrome.

Mothers benefit too. Breastfeeding, according to CDC, can help lower a mother’s risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, as well as ovarian and breast cancer. Breast milk is recommended as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Additional recommendations about introducing solid foods into the infant’s diet and extending breast milk can also be found on the AAP website. However, it’s important to check with your baby’s health care provider before introducing new foods.

Heather Goodbread, a lactation counselor at Breastfeed Atlanta, says new moms are appreciative of the help they receive from their peers.

“Many new moms often have this idyllic plan to breastfeed and they are all are encouraged to do so,” said Hannah Herman, a Breastfeed Atlanta mom, who lives in Cobb County.

It seems as though no one prepares new moms for the difficult process of something so natural, says Herman. “Perhaps there’s a poor latch, a low milk supply, or another problem?”

[Correction: an earler version of this article attibuted the quote above to Heather Goodbread.  We regret the error.]

If and when new moms must return to work, focus on taking care of older children or handle complex family responsibilities, they may need a bit of extra encouragement to continue breastfeeding.

“Coming together as a group of women to support each other in one of the biggest challenges of motherhood is absolutely invaluable,” Goodbread states in an email to Cobb County Courier.

“We are hoping for greater acceptance for breastfeeding in public,” said CDPH’s Director of Family Health Management, Laurie Ross. Events for the Big Latch On will take place at registered locations around the world and yet, it’s a  community event.

Friends and family members are encouraged to join breastfeeding women, as part of this worldwide celebration. For additional details, please call 770-438-5107.

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Judi Kanne
As a registered nurse and independent journalist, Judi Kanne combines her nursing and journalism backgrounds to write about public health. She lives in Atlanta.

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