Bottle or breast? Formula or breast milk? For many moms these are common questions---ones, health experts are helping them answer. “We like to assess what their goals are and how can we help them meet those goals and be informed about the decisions they are making,” said Carol Lawrence, perinatal practice supervisor at Lee Health.
For healthy moms, health experts encourage breastfeeding. “We want to support breastfeeding. We know that the health outcomes for us as a society, for the families, for the mom and babies are much better when babies receive human milk,” said Lawrence.
Through the baby-friendly designation, Lee Health is also supporting safe infant feeding practices for women who cannot, or choose not to breastfeed. “That really takes a village. It takes a hospital system, it takes a prenatal clinic, it requires to follow up and community support. As a system, we’ve really, through the baby-friendly hospital initiative, looked at our prenatal education program and provided multiple resources,” she said.
From signs to lactation consultants, moms and families can get the support they need to feed their baby.
“It’s really looking at the support that we provide to women and a lot of it comes from providing them with accurate information, and then knowing if they have challenges where they can reach out to and get support,” said Lawrence.
Studies show, breast milk offers babies lifelong benefits and lowers their risk of developing obesity, certain cancers, and hypertension. “The research, especially over the last decade is just added to all the benefits of human milk. You cannot replicate human milk in formula,” she said.
Supporting and educating families and helping them make informed decisions on the best way to feed their baby.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.