Westmed Women’s Health and Pediatrics Departments to Sponsor Breastfeeding Classes to more than 2500 pregnant patients in 2021
RYE BROOK, N.Y., Feb. 2, 2021 — Westmed Women’s Health and Pediatrics departments are offering complimentary virtual breastfeeding classes to Westmed patients as part of an effort to promote the many benefits of breastfeeding. Offered in partnership with The Parent Collective, these classes are designed to provide Westmed patients evidence-based information on how to breastfeed and are intended to help them get off to the best possible start.
“Both the Women’s Health and Pediatrics Departments at Westmed strongly support breastfeeding for as long as possible to extend the health benefits for both mother and child,” says Dr. Patricia Calayag, deputy medical director at Westmed Medical Group. “Due to the current circumstances related to the pandemic, many new mothers are finding themselves with limited support as they isolate at home in order to keep their newborns as safe as possible. New motherhood can be challenging under normal circumstances, the pandemic has made it even more challenging for mothers to get the support they need. The first few weeks of parenthood are crucial to helping mothers to establish a healthy breastfeeding relationship with baby. Westmed is committed to removing barriers to care and support for mothers by providing education and guidance in this effort.”
In addition to the expert facilitators from The Parent Collective, a Westmed pediatrician, obstetrician or Westmed lactation specialist will also join the class to help patients start planning for their own breastfeeding experience. In this class mothers will receive information about topics such as initiating breastfeeding, latching on, hunger cues, feeding schedules, pumping and storing milk as well as formula feeding. Support will also be offered for those who will be breastfeeding twins or breastfeeding with a breast reduction or augmentation. Additional postpartum support will be available with a follow-up class for those who register. There will also be classes offered in Spanish.
“Our pediatricians believe breastfeeding gives infants their healthiest start. We are delighted to join with our obstetricians in supporting new mothers in this important parenting stage,” said Dr. Sara Kenamore, head of pediatrics at Westmed.
“Many feel that breastfeeding should come easily,” states Dr. Rosalie Alvarado, OB-GYN and lactation specialist at Westmed. “However, this is often not the case, and many mothers will need support from their community and lactation specialists to get off to the best start. By offering these classes, we want to encourage the breastfeeding conversation, help families feel prepared and help mothers feel comfortable to seek support if they are experiencing challenges. ”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months of life with continued breastfeeding along with introducing appropriate complementary foods for 1 year or longer.*