I got good news last night when my niece phoned to say is pregnant for the first time. She is in her early 30s and in good health, so everything ought to be fine, right? The truth is, we never know. The importance pre-natal care cannot be under estimated. Finding a doctor that is compatible with you and your wishes and a hospital that offers superb medical care for you and your baby are among the first things she needs to think about. Of course vitamins, good nutrition and exercise are also very important for mom-to-be.
Women in the community are lucky that our Hospital offers so many services and programs for those who are pregnant. In addition to childbirth classes (a series or a one-day), cesarean birth preparation and maternity orientations there are special “Boot Camp” events for Dads and “Big Brother/Big Sister” classes. Since breastfeeding is the natural and most healthy way to feed a baby, we are committed to offering breastfeeding classes. Additionally lactation consultants are available if mom needs some extra help, and our Lactation Center is available for further help after they leave the hospital. And to make sure all the bases are covered, we offer Infant/Child CPR classes to empower new parents and a Safe Sitter class for 11- to 16-year-old boys and girls to teach safe babysitting techniques.
The week of August 1 – 7 has been designated world breastfeeding week so that people can learn and be reminded of the importance of breastfeeding! Many years ago, (1976) I breastfed my first son – wow things were different back then. The nurses didn’t encourage breastfeeding while I was in the hospital, in fact, I had to ask them NOT to give my baby glucose water. By the time my second son was born (1979) not much had changed…but I was more experienced and didn’t need the support that new mom’s should receive. The attitude about breastfeeding was beginning to change in 1982 when my third son was born, but it was still not where we are today in regards to acceptance and knowledge.
Breastfeeding has so many wonderful aspects. In addition to the bonding and loving that comes from breastfeeding a baby; it also may protect a mom against developing breast cancer later in life. It also makes ear infections, type 1 diabetes, diarrhea and certain types of rare childhood cancers less likely for babies. Breastfed babies are 20% less likely to die in the post neonatal period (after 28 days) and the longer a baby is breastfed, the lower the risk. The nutrients found in breast milk are responsible for the growth of a baby’s brain and nervous system. Another great benefit is mom’s who breastfeeding tend to lose more weight than mom’s who do not breastfeed.
I wanted to share a story about one of our nurses, Jody Kelly who works in Labor and Delivery. On Sunday May 8th, 2011(Mother’s Day) she saw a Bowers Ambulance crash into a pole on the San Bernardino Fwy. The accident happened at about 6:10 a.m. as she was on her way to work. The crash caused a 20 ft. piece of guard rail to fly onto the freeway as the demolished ambulance came to a stop.
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