The Powers of Breastmilk

I had the opportunity for the past week to attend an amazing 5 day long conference about breast feeding. I know for some people that might not be an exciting topic, but I thought it was fascinating. St Vincent hosted the event and brought in two wonderful speakers to teach us for the 5 day course. The name of the course was Foundations for Best Practice for Lactation Care and the instructors were from Evergreen Hospital in Seattle, WA. Molly Pessl was one of the instructors and she has been a nurse for over 50 years. She has been working with lactating mothers for the majority of that time and is such a wealth of knowledge on the topic. 

I hope that over the next year or so I can work towards completing the course work to become a IBCLC or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I first was exposure to working with women and breast feeding at WIC during my dietetic internship. I really enjoyed that part of the rotation, but didn't think much more about it, until now. I work in a NICU and we are always wanting and needing maternal breastmilk for our little babies. I thought that this would be a great time to start working towards that credential. Then this 5 day course was offered by St Vincent and I had to do it. 

I just thought I would share with you some of the amazing things that I learn during this coursework. I have never attended a lactation conference before so everything that was shared was new to me. We talked about the changes/development that happens for Mom and the baby during pregnancy, delivery and into the 4th trimester. It is amazing how the woman's body is designed to sustain life in the womb and afterwards. We talked about how the mammary glands work and how the hormone changes creates breastmilk for the infant. We talked about child development from in utero through 12 months of life. It was neat to discuss case studies as a group and have this chance to learn from the experience of people in the class. Of course at the end of the 5 days, I was so excited about everything that I have learned. I obviously think breast feeding is an amazing thing and something that every woman should be encouraged to do. It is worth all the hard work and effort to provide this unique food to your baby for a few days to a few years. 

I hope this post helps to normalize breastfeeding. This has been the way babies have been fed for thousands of years. I know that baby formula can help and save lives for lots of children, especially those who are premature, but their own mother's breastmilk helps even those tiny babies. I hope you are encouraged by this post and have a desire to show support and love to those mothers who are out there breastfeeding their babies and giving that gift to their children.