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News: Centegra participates in first nationwide Big Latch On

Thousands of nursing women and their babies across the United States will gather in their own communities to take part in the Big Latch On, America’s first synchronized nursing event in multiple locations. The local Big Latch On will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 at Centegra Hospital-Woodstock in conference rooms A&B.

The first record for a single location was from Berkeley, Calif. in 2002 where 1,130 mothers breastfed simultaneously. The international record for one location is 3,738 mothers in the Philippines in 2006. Since then, there have been several coordinated international events and in October 2010, 9,826 nursing mothers were recorded at 325 sites in 16 countries.

The Big Latch On is originally from New Zealand. Joanne Edwards introduced it to Portland, Ore. in 2010 as a celebration for World Breastfeeding Week. During the same week, Annie Brown, a La Leche League Leader from Connecticut organized a simultaneous breastfeeding event in her home state. For World Breastfeeding Week 2011, they are working collaboratively and with the support of La Leche League USA to bring the event across the country. World Breastfeeding Week is August 1 to 7 and is celebrated in 120 countries.The Breastfeeding Resource Center at Centegra Hospital-Woodstock opened last year during World Breastfeeding Week to provide local access to support and breastfeeding techniques and supplies.

”Centegra support groups help keep nurses linked with the community after moms are discharged,”  said Centegra nurse Valerie E. Keller. “There are challenges along the road and we are here to help.” Keller believes the support groups are a positive way for mothers to bond with other mothers in the community. Directed by registered nurses specially certified by the International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (ILBCLC), the support groups are a free opportunity for mothers to stop in at a convenient time and receive support and tips to foster the connection with their baby.

Common concerns from mothers are whether their baby is receiving enough milk, going back to work and the weight of the baby. In response to these concerns, the lactation nurses provided a scale at the support groups, so mothers can get a free weight check without making a special visit to the pediatrician.In addition, the lactation nurses encourage skin-to-skin contact and on-demand breastfeeding. In addition, immediately after a baby is born, Centegra Health System supports couplet care, where mom and baby are in the same room immediately after birth through the duration of their stay in the hospital. Keller notes that this is a proven method to help the connection between mom and baby. In addition to the free support groups and programs offered, private consults are also available to schedule.

To learn more about the Breastfeeding Resource Center, visit our Breastfeeding page or call the Breastfeeding Warmline at 815-759-4440.

Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies and babies who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality, adult obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer (both mom and baby.) The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life to optimize these benefits, continuing to breastfeed for two years and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by mother and baby.

Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Physician Care Centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more. As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community.

For more information on Centegra Health System visit, search Centegra Health System on Facebook and Twitter or call 877-CENTEGRA (877-236-8347).