Lawrence latches on: World Breastfeeding Week 2018
By Jessica Brewer, Lawrence Memorial Hospital
What if there was a medicine that could lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer for moms and prevent infectious diseases, lower the risk of obesity, lower respiratory infections and increase intelligence for children?
That medicine is called breastfeeding.
This year, from Aug. 1-7, people nationwide will celebrate this medicine for world breastfeeding week. This week is a time for mothers, children and families to learn about breastfeeding and show support. If you are nursing, pregnant, curious or just want to show support, we hope you will join the Lawrence community on Aug. 4 for this year’s world breastfeeding week celebration.
Emily Hartford, community member with the Douglas County breastfeeding coalition, is looking forward to this year’s celebration. This event will have many different opportunities for community members to come learn and show support.
“It’s going to be an exciting event this year,” said Hartford. “There will be a few different events then there have been in the past, including new presentations and the continuation of the latch-on event.”
The latch on will be officially called “Lawrence latches on.” This is where women can feed their children all at once, together. They can breastfeed, or feed them with pumped milk. The Douglas County Breastfeeding Coalition has created the hashtag #Lawrencelatcheson to be used throughout the day.
“Our hope is that people will post pictures using the hashtag to show support at the event, or if they cannot be there that they will participate virtually,” Hartford said.
Another hope of the coalition’s, is that people will show support for breastfeeding friendly spaces. This means that a business or work environment supports breastfeeding and has trained the staff on support and building policies for nursing mothers.
PANDA Pediatrics is a breastfeeding friendly practice in Lawrence. They are currently a 4-star location, but with the recent hire of a lactation consultant, they are soon to be a 5-star location.
“Thinking about breastfeeding, it’s something that there is a huge need for,” said Dr. Waco Goodnight, physician at PANDA Pediatrics. “Not only is it a huge need in this community, but in this nation and the United States does not support breastfeeding like it should.”
Dr. Goodnight is ecstatic that PANDA pediatrics is a breastfeeding friendly practice in the Lawrence community and hopes that more and more become breastfeeding friendly.
“Breastfeeding is just as big a preventative medicine as vaccines. What other medicine can prevent cancer, obesity, mental illness and infant mortality? I’d challenge someone to name a bigger preventative medicine than breastfeeding,” Dr. Goodnight said.
The Douglas County world breastfeeding week celebration event will be hosted at the Lawrence Public Library. There will be 17 different community partners attending the event to provide information about all things breastfeeding.
“The organizations that come offer huge services,” Hartford said. “It’s amazing to see how they all come together and how each one provides a different piece to the puzzle.”
The Breastfeeding and New Parent Support Group is free and meets on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. LMH also offers free support through the Infant Nutrition Center for parents who have delivered at LMH, up to two weeks after a baby’s birth. Another support group, which includes evening hours, is the La Leche League of Lawrence, which meets on the second Tuesday of the month at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
For more information about the Breastfeeding Coalition of Douglas County’s World Breastfeeding Week event or for additional resources, visit www.tinyurl.com/ybrm5kqg.
Jessica Brewer is an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at LMH, which is a major sponsor of Lawrence Journal-World’s health section. She can be reached at Jessica.Brewer@lmh.org.
The celebration at a glance
Here are some activities that will be happening throughout the day:
- The event will take place at 10 am on Saturday, August 4 at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont.
- For children, there will be a story time put on by the library, a baby sing and sign and different activities throughout.
- For adults, there will be a baby wearing presentation, a milk drop activity, various interactive presentations, a "pumping is breastfeeding" presentation, the Lawrence latch-on and more.
- There will be booths set up by 17 community partners who will share their support of breastfeeding and provide relevant learning tools and information.