Monday, March 21, 2011

Breastfeeding Matters . . .

A big "thank you" to The Midwives of Bethany Womens Healthcare for their gracious invitation to join you in cyberspace and post breastfeeding information. I'm Sharon Olson, the lactation consultant at BWHC. I've been board-certified since 2002, and have been helping mothers breastfeed their babies since 1992 when I became an accredited lay breastfeeding counselor. During this time, each of my four breastfed daughters played a role in teaching me something new as well as providing impetus for continuing to learn more -- which continues to this day since research and new findings are ongoing!

I teach our breastfeeding classes, facilitate our weekly nursing mothers group, and help mothers during private consultations. Look for my posts regarding new information as well as details about upcoming events at the Breastfeeding Support Center, which is located in Building C, the building closest to Bethany Home Road.

FAQ #1:

"Breastfeeding is natural. Why do I need to take a class?"

You are right! Breastfeeding is a natural process. It is also a set of learned behaviors for a mother and baby which new mothers have traditionally learned from other experienced breastfeeding women. If you don't know anyone who is enjoying a successful breastfeeding experience with her baby and YOU want to breastfeed, you will benefit by taking the classes we offer and starting to form your own support network.

In generations past when extended families lived closer together, young women and expectant mothers learned how new mothers interacted with their babies by watching others and asking questions. In this way, lots of feminine knowledge about breastfeeding was transferred from one generation to the next.

In the last 100 years, as feeding methods changed, much of this feminine knowledge about breastfeeding has sadly been lost to our culture. Many new mothers live far away from their families of origin, and some have never held a baby until their own infant is placed in their arms. Science now proclaims that breastfeeding is best, and we're also learning that without the practical information of times past, some mothers can (and do) struggle with it. And THAT is why taking our Breastfeeding Works! class during your second trimester can make all the difference to you and your baby!

Upcoming Classes

Call our main number, 602-973-3200, to register for classes so that I prepare enough materials for everyone. Please arrive 15 minutes early on the day of class to pay the fee and pick up your class materials.

Saturday, April 9, 2011
9:00 a.m. - Noon
Cost: $20

Breastfeeding Works! - Spend 3 hours learning about the normal process of breastfeeding, including your baby's normal behavior and feeding cues, as well as how your body will respond and make milk. Learn practical information so you are comfortable, Dad knows how to help, and your baby thrives! Dads and/or a suspport person are welcome to attend with you. Sitting through this class is more comfortable during your second trimester!

Monday, April 18, 2011
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $10

Employed and Breastfeeding Seminar - Spend 1.5 hours learning how to ease the transition when you return to work or school and desire to continue breastfeeding. Dads, a support person, and baby are welcome to attend with you. We'll discuss pumps, pumping routines that work, storing human milk, and balancing employment with childcare concerns.

Nursing Mothers Group

Bethany Womens Healthcare
3660 W. Bethany Home Road
Phoenix, AZ 85019

March 2011

Wednesday Mornings: 10 a.m. - Noon


Join us in the Breastfeeding Support Center. Babies and toddlers always welcome. Bring your questions and concerns. In addition to the discussion topic, we'll explore answers that work for YOU. This is informal and fun!

March 23 - Preparing to Breastfeed
Let's start at the beginning. What preparations did you make? Share what was helpful. Share what was not!

March 30 - Arizona's Breastfeeding Report Card
We'll discuss the statistical findings by the Centers for Disease Control about breastfeeding initiation and duration nationwide and in Arizona.