Aug. 7 event part of World Breastfeeding Month observance
Health experts continue to tout the benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and babies, and Parkland Health & Hospital System is doing its part to help raise awareness of those benefits. In recognition of August’s World Breastfeeding Month, Parkland is hosting a Breastfeeding Health Fair designed not only to educate but also support moms and their families. The fair’s theme is “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life!”
The health fair is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday Aug. 7 in the MacGregor W. Day Auditorium, located on the first floor at Parkland Memorial Hospital, 5201 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas 75235. The event, which is open to patients, their families, visitors and Parkland staff, is offered at no cost. It will include information from various Parkland departments, as well as community organizations.
“At Parkland we strive to provide moms with breastfeeding support and education throughout the perinatal period and rely on all of our community partners to continue supporting moms’ long-term breastfeeding goals,” said Erin Contreras, lactation consultant at Parkland and chair of the Breastfeeding Fair committee.
Studies have shown that infants who breastfeed benefit from easy digestion, are protected from illness and have lower risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). For mothers, breastfeeding has been shown to lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression.
That’s why breastfeeding is recommended by entities such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The American College of Nurse-Midwives.
“We really want to bring the benefits of breastfeeding to the forefront,” said Valencia Moore, lactation consultant supervisor at Parkland. “We want breastfeeding to become the norm instead of formula feeding.”
In addition to the breastfeeding fair, Parkland also took part in the Global Big Latch-On on Aug.1, a worldwide effort to set a breastfeeding record for nursing babies. Parkland’s efforts on mother/baby bonding and infant feeding are steps in the hospital’s journey to achieve Baby Friendly designation through a worldwide initiative of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The Aug. 7 fair is just part of the effort at Parkland to provide a supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers. Parkland also conducts breastfeeding classes in both English and Spanish on the first Saturday of every month. For more information about these classes and to register, call 214.590.2323.