MONTROSE, CO – Did you know August is National Breastfeeding Month? The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) made the announcement in August of 2011 to help promote breastfeeding and advocate for policy changes that support babies and families. Montrose Regional Health is proud to connect new moms with education and provide resources to help mom be successful in breastfeeding their child.

“We are here to help make your experience with breastfeeding the best it can be,” says Jonna Houge, Lactation Program Coordinator at Montrose Regional Health (MRH). Jonna helps hundreds of moms adopt breastfeeding each year at the hospital.

There has been much discussion about breastfeeding in recent months in part due to the formula shortage in the United States. Breastfeeding has recognized benefits far beyond availability, however. According to the March of Dimes, breastmilk:

  • Contains the right amount of hormones and nutrients to help babies grow
  • Is easy for the baby to digest
  • Has antibodies to help protect your baby from illnesses

Common challenges moms face on the Western Slope include breast engorgement – which may cause breasts to be warm, tender and painful due to too much accumulation of milk – and ensuring the baby connects with a good, deep latch from the beginning. To help ensure moms aren’t experiencing issues, new moms at Montrose Regional Health are called within 2-3 days after discharge to ensure they don’t have any concerns. They are also welcome to meet with a Certified Lactation Counselor at MRH to discuss any concerns and receive guidance to help them get started with breastfeeding. Moms may return to MRH for guidance throughout the first year of the baby’s life, as mothers can experience obstacles throughout the first year.

There are certain situations where breastfeeding may not be best for the baby, as there are instances where mom may have a medical condition or could be taking certain medicines that could be passed on to the baby. But for the vast majority of new mothers, it’s just what the doctor ordered. If you have any concerns, talk to your provider, Family Center nurses or Certified Lactation Counselor.