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SMMC prepares expecting mothers for breastfeeding

SMMC prepares expecting mothers for breastfeeding

Several expecting mothers are now better prepared for their roles as breastfeeding mothers after a Breastfeeding Information Session at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) on Thursday, August 8, 2013. 


The information session was to equip women with the knowledge of breastfeeding and support them in their decision. The women also received a short presentation on what to expect during labour and delivery. Demonstrations were used to show comfortable breastfeeding positions, and the women also learnt about the baby latching on to the breast, timing of feeding, expressing of milk and exclusive breastfeeding.


St. Maarten Medical Center supports the global public health recommendation that healthy term infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives. In the lecture the nurses emphasized that it is possible for a woman to feed her baby only breast milk, not even water, in the first six months. Some women worry that this may not be enough for the baby. However, the breastfeeding committee president Nrs. Candida Mc Rae Williams affirms, “Breast milk has all that your baby needs.”


Midwife Nicoline van der Velden also added that it is natural that there may be days when the milk is less, but the nourishment is still balanced and therefore sufficient for the baby. Having less production should not be a reason to panic.


Supervisor Nrs. Sheryl Carty stressed that it is important to monitor the baby’s movements; feeding before the child becomes hungry and start to cry. A baby in distress may have difficulty latching on and a distressed baby often results in a frustrated mom feeding her baby a bottle to ease their distress.


One of the concerns presented by the expecting mother is the inevitable reality of returning to the workplace. Support for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace is very important for a mother who wants to exclusively breastfeed her baby in the first six months.


Throughout the month of August the breastfeeding committee will be conducting surveys at local business to investigate how breastfeeding friendly our workplaces in St. Maarten are. This will bring awareness to the businesses of their role in the support of breastfeeding employees.


The SMMC Ob/Gyn ward will continue the breastfeeding awareness campaign throughout the month of August and welcome the opportunity to inform and support women who decide to breastfeed their babies, giving them the best nourishment possible.


Nurse Naica Arrindell-Coffie demonstrates the 'football' breastfeeding position.


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