Hartford Hospital Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

August 02, 2017

Dozens gathered in front of the Hartford Hospital campus on Aug. 2 at a special event to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, recognized around the world each year during Aug. 1-7.

“August is declared breastfeeding awareness month in the State of Connecticut by the governor’s proclamation,” said Mary A. Marshall-Crim, MSN, FNP-BC, IBCLC, lactation program unit leader at Hartford Hospital.

At this year’s event State Representative Liz Linehan and Lori Atkins, private practice lactation consultant, joined the lineup to show their support for the cause.

“I’ve spent seven years breastfeeding my children and consider myself a champion for women, children and breastfeeding,” said Linehan, who has worked diligently to promote and protect legislation related to pregnancy and breastfeeding in the workplace.

Several community organizations and other hospitals were also on hand providing refreshments, giveaways and educational information on the benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby. Those benefits include protecting infants from viruses and bacteria, reducing the risk of asthma and allergies, and enhancing an early bond between mother and infant.

 “Hartford Hospital is a Baby-Friendly Hospital designated by the World Health Organization (WHO). This prestigious designation means we promote, protect and support breastfeeding and a mother’s informed decision to use formula,” said Marshall-Crim.

More specifically, hospital staff use the guidelines outlined in the WHO’s “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” to educate– steps like helping moms initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth and establishing support groups for hands-on support when mom and baby go home.

Since the Baby Friendly initiative’s launch, more than 152 countries around the world have implemented it. It’s had a measureable impact, increasing the likelihood of babies being exclusively breastfed for the first six months.

Today, 85 to 95 percent of moms delivering at Hartford Hospital will initiate breastfeeding, up from a 75 percent in 2012. Hartford hospital has been a Baby Friendly hospital since 2000.