August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month
From Special Reports
August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month and Piedmont is joining in the celebration of this year’s theme, Together We Can Do Great Things. Piedmont is dedicated to ensuring every family that chooses breastfeeding receives resources as we support, promote and protect breastfeeding to ensure their success.
“We are well aware of the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers,” said Lewis Jackson, M.D., Piedmont’s regional medical director for pediatrics and a practicing pediatrician with Piedmont Physicians Group. “Studies show breastfeeding protects babies from various diseases and conditions such as ear infections, asthma, and obesity. For mothers, breastfeeding may lower the risk of certain cancers, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and reduces the risk of developing heart disease later in life.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60 percent of mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than they intended due to an absence of ongoing support. Piedmont’s pediatricians and dedicated lactation specialists strive to ensure mothers receive education, resources, and support throughout the baby’s first years.
“Each family’s breastfeeding experience is unique, which can present different needs and/or challenges,” said Jackson. “Establishing a plan together, we find the techniques that work best for each family to provide the most benefit to babies and moms.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for about six months. Breastfeeding, along with complimentary foods should continue for the next six months and for as long as both mom and baby desire.
Online resources can also provide information on the benefits of breastfeeding. The United States Breastfeeding Committee, www.usbreastfeeding.org, has resources dedicated to key facts about breastfeeding during COVID-19. Additional resources can be found from the American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org, and the CDC, www.cdc.gov.
For information on maternity services at Piedmont or to find a pediatrician for your child, visit piedmont.org.