The month of August is recognized in Missouri as Breastfeeding Month and the theme for this year’s celebration is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility,” highlighting how breastfeeding significantly improves the health and wellbeing of infants, children and their mothers. Hannibal Regional is planning to celebrate local breastfeeding moms and babies at their support group meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays during the month of August.
More than 81% of mothers in the United States choose to breastfeed. Mother’s milk is very different from formula. Breast milk contains live cells, growth factors and other substances which regulate the immune response system. These cells mean milk is a living tissue, like blood, with the ability to influence the development of other tissues in the body. In the early weeks of breastfeeding there are as many white blood cells in milk as there are in blood, working to keep a baby healthy. Breast milk contains many nutrients which are essential for the baby’s health and development and cannot be reproduced. Breastfeeding provides unmatched benefits to both mother and baby.
Hannibal Regional is a designated Milk Depot. This means that mothers with an abundance of breast milk have a convenient way to donate their milk to other babies in need of breast milk. The Milk Depot has had an overwhelming response with milk donations. To date over 48,000 ounces of milk have been donated by approved donors. The Milk Depot offers an easy way for mothers in the community to give their milk to the most vulnerable pre-term and sick infants. This is done at no cost to the donating mother. For questions about breastfeeding, call the Breastfeeding Warmline at (573) 406-2122 for more information.
Hannibal Regional Hospital, designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, works to assist mothers to meet their goals and successfully breastfeed. One service offered in support of this mission is the support group “Honeysuckle Café”, which has resumed its in-person meetings twice weekly: Mondays at 5:00 pm and Wednesdays at 10:00 am. The “Honeysuckle Café” is a place where moms can enjoy support from other mothers and the expertise of a lactation consultant if needed. Their goal is to troubleshoot problems in the early days of nursing and also be a community for support as baby grows. For more information about the “Honeysuckle Café” group, please call (573) 406-2122. Registration is not necessary and siblings are welcome.