Sustaining Breastfeeding Together: A Guide for Families

HYANNIS – For a mother and child, bonding often begins with breastfeeding. Yet every woman’s breastfeeding experience is different – and oftentimes can be challenging, especially at first.

Looking to both educate mothers and celebrate breastfeeding, Cape Cod Healthcare is holding two events in honor of “World Breastfeeding Week” this week.

World Breastfeeding Week is an international initiative coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide. Locally, Cape Cod Healthcare is engaging mothers across our community with interactive and educational seminars hosted at Falmouth Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital.

“I think mothers absolutely need and deserve evidenced –based information, that is readily available when they need it, and is consistent across the spectrum of care,” said Suzan Scharr, RN, IBCLC, lactation counselor at Falmouth Hospital. “The Breastfeeding Support Group at Falmouth Hospital is well established over the last 20 years, and our lactation consultants are well versed in working with women and their families to help them gain comfort and competency with breastfeeding.”

Scharr, who initiated the Breastfeeding Support Group at Falmouth Hospital, also believes in the power of peer-to-peer support, and has seen the benefits of encouragement and collaboration in action over the years.

“We offer an online support group on Facebook, where mothers can share their triumphs, concerns, recipes for lactation cookies, or just vent,” added Scharr. “One of our members wrote this quote on the wall of the online site: ‘Oh that’s OK. I have received too much breastfeeding support already – said no mother ever.’”

The group sessions and online community have helped countless Cape Cod women become more confident and comfortable with breastfeeding, while also providing a consistent and continuous stream of support and communication.

Falmouth Hospital: Thursday, August 3

The fourth annual Breastfeeding Week celebration, hosted by the Family Birthplace at Falmouth Hospital, will take place on Thursday, August 3, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon in the Falmouth Hospital Burwell Conference Center, Level B. Women’s health professionals will provide a comprehensive overview on breastfeeding benefits and best practices including:

  • Demonstrations featuring the latest in breast pumps by a Healthy Baby Essentials delegate
  • An interactive demonstration from Jessamy Hamblin, which will explore “Baby Wearing” using a variety of different wraps and infant carriers
  • ‘Healthy Eating for Breastfeeding Mothers’ featuring nutrition tips for wholesome meals and snacks, led by Courtney Shea, RD, Clinical Nutrition Manager
  • Representation from Women, Infants and Children (WIC) with Cheryl Donahue onsite to discuss the services available to breastfeeding moms
  • Information on postpartum health, depression and mood disorders

Cape Cod Hospital: Friday, August 4

A second event will also be hosted by the Family Birthplace at Cape Cod Hospital on Friday, August 4, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in the Cape Cod Hospital Lorusso Board Room. Featured experts will also be on site to share information and light refreshments will be served. Attendees of the Cape Cod Hospital event will be treated to:

  • Demonstrations featuring the latest in breast pumps by a Healthy Baby Essentials delegate
  • ‘Healthy Eating for Breastfeeding Mothers’ featuring nutrition tips for wholesome meals and snacks, led by Courtney Shea, RD, Clinical Nutrition Manager
  • Representative from Women Infant and Children (WIC) to discuss service available to breastfeeding mothers
  • Information on post partum depression by Daniel Rodrigues, LCSW
  • Mom and Baby Yoga by Mary Kate Starr
  • Chair Massage for moms by licensed massage therapists
  • Reiki for moms and babies
  • Car seat installation demonstration by three certified car seat installers followed by free car seat installation. Designated parking is at 40 Quinlan Way, where two technicians from the Cape Car Seat program will be on hand to take any expired or recalled seats and give out a new one.

For more information and to RSVP to the Cape Cod Hospital event please email Heather Lakatos at, by Tuesday, August 1.

Additionally, Cape Cod Healthcare is on the path to attaining the WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Designation. This designation indicates that the breastfeeding policy, training, and support by the staff from both facilities will be focused on assisting and supporting women in their efforts to achieve their individual breastfeeding goals. Together Falmouth Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital are taking special steps to create an environment for parents and infants that ensures the best start for breastfeeding.

Interested in learning more? Additional resources, including lactation support services can also be found at:

By KELLY AHERN, Cape Cod Health News

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