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Helping mothers with breastfeeding

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Countless studies point to a variety of benefits breastfeeding has for babies, things like reducing ear infections and improving cognitive development.

"Even with formula companies trying to reproduce breast milk, they can never truly get it right. breast milk comes from mom," says Covenant's childbirth education coordinator, Heidi Churchfield.

She says breastfeeding also has benefits for moms, "The studies show that it helps reduce breast cancer, diabetes."

Breast feeding also offers similar life-long health benefits to babies as well, "Diabetes for the babies too, further along, when they are older as children and as adults."

But for many new mothers, who want to breastfeed, the process can be frustrating, Heidi says, "Absolutely, you think babies will come out and automatically go right to breast and know what to do."

While there is a reflex component to breast feeding, there is an adjustment period for many mothers, which is why Heidi's job is so important- helping new moms learn the ropes.

"Getting that coordination together takes some work. And it can be very frustrating. And that's what we're there for. We want to reassure moms that it's okay if it doesn't happen the first time. "

Heidi also wants to make sure moms know that breast-feeding is okay- and a choice that is theirs alone, "We want you to make the choice that you want to make."

Women who choose to breastfeed, Heidi says, need both family and community support. That can be tricky, especially in light of on-going, heated controversay about women breast feeding in public.

"Here still, if women are covered up, people will walk by and put their noses in the air- even say things to them. It's just not acceptible to do that," Heidi says.

One way heidi hopes to raise awareness is through events like one Friday morning, August 4th. It is part of the "Global Big Latch On". The courtyard, outside Anderson Center on Ezra Rust Dr in Saginaw will be full of mothers, breastfeeding together, without judgement. Registration begins at 10:00 am. For more information, visit this link.

You can also contact Heidi Chruchfield, RN, for information about breastfeeding classes, as well as the Global Big Latch On". (989)583-4503

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