GREENVILLE — A Breastfeeding Shower was held Wednesday morning for women, pregnant or not, who are breastfeeding at South Park in Greenville.
Deanna Schlarman, director of the WIC program at Family Health, said this was being done in observance of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.
An estimated 20 women attended the event with their children and other guests. Featured were a quiz, snacks, raffle prizes and games, including Pin the Baby on the Breast.
Greenville Township Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Brian Phillips was in attendance and spoke to the families on car seat safety, and before he left, presented two car seats — a booster seat and a convertible seat, to be given away. Winning them were Kristina Pace (booster) and Taris Harlow (convertible).
Representatives from Care Source and Buckeye Health Plan were in attendance and spoke to the mothers about their respective programs.
While the moms were participating in the event, their children were playing on park equipment nearby.
“Some are first-time moms,” said Schlarman. “We are making it family-friendly.”
Among other WIC representatives helping out during the event was Sara Seger, breastfeeding coordinator for Darke/Mercer County. Paul Knox, a nutrition counselor in the state office, was in attendance to observe.
“We help moms when they are pregnant with such things as post-partum issues” Schlarman said. “It is up to them if they want to breast-feed. We have nutritionist here.”
Schlarman said this is the third year for the event and noted that 119 invitations were sent out.
“We had 25 people last year,” she said.
Maddie Mullins of Bradford was one of the mothers who attended the shower. She brought with her her nearly 11-month-old son Wesley, and noted that her other two children, Wyatt 8 and Wriley 4 were at camp. Also with her were two other children she was baby-sitting for a friend.
“Breast-feeding was the right thing to do,” Mullins said. “My kids are better for it, too. They seem a lot more content…that’s one thing we’ve noticed.”
She has been with the WIC program for a year and said that it has helped her.
“This program has helped me more,” said the former Maddie Myers, married to Aaron Schlarman.”The girls are all wonderful. They make you feel comfortable with it. With my first one, I had problems and had no support. It makes a difference having that support.”
Mary Rader, who is also with the WIC program, said the income guidelines for the Ohio WIC program went up July 1.
Gross income (before taxes) cannot exceed the following amounts:
• Family of 1, $21,775 annual, $1,815 monthly and $419 weekly.
• Family of 2, $29,471 annual, $2,456 monthly and $567 weekly.
• Family of 3, $37,167 annual, $3,098 monthly and $715 weekly.
• Family of 4, $44,863 annual, $3,739 monthly and $863 weekly.
• Family of 5, $52,559 annual, $4,380 monthly and $1,011 weekly.
• Family of 6, $60,255 annual, $5,022 monthly and $1,159 weekly.
• Family of 7, $67,951 annual, $5,663 monthly and $1,307 weekly.
• Family of 8, $75,647 annual, $6,304 monthly and $1,455 weekly.
It was noted that if there are more than eight people in a family to contact the local WIC clinic for guidelines.
Phillips, who is one of three car seat technicians at Greenville Fire and Rescue with Paramedics Nate Frazee and Greg Fourman, told the crowd how the fire and rescue squad works with the Ohio Buckle Buckeyes (OBB) program.
“Car seats have to meet WIC guidelines,” Phillips said. “That doesn’t mean they have to be on WIC.”
He reported that their department, located at 1401 Sater St., Greenville, does car seat checks, which only take approximately 30 minutes. The number to call, he said, is 937-548-9339.
“And, if they want a free car seat from the OBB program, it takes approximately one hour because of the DVD they have to watch,” he added.
He also advised them to watch their liquid laundry pods.
“Babies are ingesting them,” he said. “Put them where the toddlers can’t get hold of them. Keep them out of their reach and sight. Keep packets in their original container and keep the container closed. If a child gets into them, call the Poison Help number immediately at 1-800-222-1222.”“
He also passed out literature on installing child safety seats and on safe sleep environments.
Sponsoring the event were: Attitudes on Fourth, Bread of Life, Buckeye Health Plan, Care Source, Greenville Rescue, Kitchen Aid, KT Plum, Mae’s Beauty Salon, Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe, Marco’s, Massage on Main, Medicine and More, Merle Norman, Pamela’s Intimates, Teafords and We Knead U Massage.
Wayne HealthCare Special Beginnings Birthing Center is also celebrating National Breastfeeding Month in August along with World Breastfeeding Week Aug. 1-7. The theme this year is Breastfeeding and Work, Let’s Make It Work! Special Beginnings staff members are fully supportive of breastfeeding and are able to assist mothers with feeding their newborns at birth, during their stay and after they go home.
“We offer assistance to mothers after discharge including weight checks, consultations and follow up calls at no charge,” said Regina Duff, director of the OB department at Wayne HealthCare. “Breastfeeding classes are offered every other month and extra classes are taught on an individual basis to assist working mothers with scheduling conflicts. If you would like to attend a breastfeeding class or would like more information on breastfeeding, please contact Rachelle Downing at 548-1141 ext 5755 or 547-7407.”
The benefits of breastfeeding to babies, according to the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Unicef and American Academy of Pediatrics include:
• Consumption of a nutritionally balanced meal
• Protection against common childhood illnesses and infections such as diarrhea, pneumonia and influenza
• Optimum survival rate, specifically during the infant’s first year of life
• Decreased risk of developing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
• Decreased risk of developing allergies such as asthma and lactose intolerance
• Decreased risk of developing diabetes type 1
• Decreased risk of developing obesity
• Enhanced bonding with mother for direct breastfeeding, brought about by skin-to-skin contact.
• Breastfeeding practices may not only provide benefits to babies alone, as mothers may also be helped. The benefits of breastfeeding for mothers include:
• Decreased postpartum blood loss
• More improved post-delivery healing
• Better weight loss results after giving birth
• Enhanced emotional health as brought about by bonding with the infant
• Decreased risk of developing postpartum depression
• Decreased risk of developing particular diseases such as breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases and rheumatoid arthritis
• Enhanced protection from hip fractures and ovarian cancer later in life
Breastfeeding does not only provide health benefits to both the mother and child. The society and environment may also draw advantages from mothers practicing prolonged breastfeeding. Families are generally not sickly hence, the workforce and health sector are not burdened by them frequently. Feeding infants with breast milk may also save the industrial sectors some energy and time as it does not require manufacturing prerequisites to be able to ensue successfully. Air pollution may also be lowered due to the decreased wastes generated from milk formula factories. Lastly, breast milk is always at the right temperature, ready to feed and involves less chances for contamination as it is directly being fed to infants.