National Breastfeeding Month: Local lactation coordinator shares breastfeeding benefits, resources for help
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - August is National Breastfeeding Month, and a local lactation coordinator discussed tips and the benefits that the practice can have for mothers.
Heather Renye, lactation coordinator with Novant Health, explained that breastfeeding can provide both mental and physical benefits for a mother.
“So I think some of the benefits for moms are that you have a reduced risk of postpartum and postpartum depression and anxiety,” Renye said. “We see confidence, more confidence in moms as they do breastfeed and learn about their bodies, which is a really big thing. We see a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease, those are major things for women as you get older in life.”
Many mothers, however, may have a hard time breastfeeding, which may lead to themselves becoming discouraged.
“... it’s something that we automatically think that we’re going to know how to do. But there’s a huge learning curve with it. Our babies are instinctually, drawn to breastfeed, but that doesn’t mean that they really know how to do it,” Renye explained. “And for a lot of moms, we haven’t held a baby that small before, ever.
“So it’s really about learning and trusting your body and trusting your instincts and trusting that, you know, getting that support system makes a really big difference. Educating yourself prior to having your baby, take a prenatal class, talk to a lactation consultant, kind of get that information ahead of time so you know kind of what the expectations might be. Advocate for yourself and advocate for your baby for what you want. But it can be difficult to know that there’s support out there and there is no right way of doing things, it is what works best for you and your baby.”
For mothers who may be having trouble with breastfeeding or for those with questions, local experts are available to help.
“We want moms to reach out and ask questions and we want them to be successful in their journeys, whatever those choices are, we want to support that and really help them through that,” Renye added. “You know, there are challenging times just like anything in life, you’re going to hit some speed bumps along the way but if you can hold on in the end, it’s well worth it.”
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