OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition recently hosted a Baby Shower at Oswego Hospital for new mothers and expectant mothers from the community.
An annual event, the Baby Shower was spearheaded by the OCBC, an organization consisting of representatives from local businesses and health & nutrition providers who strive to promote and support breastfeeding families.
The shower featured several enlightening presentations regarding the expectations of motherhood and the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as education and discussion regarding nutrition throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding, and what to expect while in the hospital for delivery.
As part of the breastfeeding component the event featured a panel of five nursing mothers.
Comprised of a cross-section of full-time employees, stay-at-home moms and full-time students the panel fielded questions from those in attendance regarding breastfeeding.
“It was good opportunity to engage in open conversation with mothers that are willing to candidly share their stories,” said co-facilitator Christina Bentley, family support program manager with Oswego County Opportunities’ OPTIONS program. “The nursing mothers answered questions, and addressed some of the myths and concerns regarding breastfeeding.”
Mary Ellen Pierce, breastfeeding coordinator and nutritionist with WIC added that the breastfeeding presentations were a perfect complement to the efforts of the breastfeeding support program offered through WIC.
“Our peer advocates – mothers who have previously or are currently breastfeeding – offer the proper education necessary for expectant mothers to successfully begin breastfeeding. They strive to educate, encourage and empower mothers who would like to breastfeed their children,” explained Pierce.
As no baby shower is complete without gifts, each mother at the event went home with a handmade double-ring sling courtesy of AXA and a goodie bag filled with useful items.
Facilitators and community volunteers assisted the mothers in preparing the fabric and sewing their own double-ring sling.
Upon completion, the mothers were taught the advantages of using the slings.
“Baby wearing offers several advantages. Parents are able to securely carry a newborn or a toddler and still have two free hands. Infants are less fussy when they’re worn, and mothers tend to have an easier time responding to feeding cues,” explained Bentley.
In addition to the slings, attendees received gift bags and a chance to win door prizes including: handmade blankets and sweaters courtesy of Margie Bourgoujian, a basket of children’s books courtesy of OCO’s Backstreet Books, and a car seat courtesy of the Oswego County Health Department.
“It was a wonderful learning experience for our mothers and an excellent way to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding. I’m happy that we were able to collaborate with the Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition, Oswego Hospital, Mother Earth Baby, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the OCO WIC program, and the Pregnancy Care Center to make this event possible,” Bentley added.
In an effort to continue raising awareness, creating community connections, and supporting local breastfeeding families, OCBC has registered Oswego as an official site for The Big Latch On.
“This is an international event. Breastfeeding women around the world will come together at registered locations where at a set time, they will all latch on their child for one minute while being counted by witnesses. Last year 13,798 babies latched on women participated across the globe, including many here in Oswego,” Bentley said.
This year’s event, hosted by the Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition, will be held August 1 in Franklin Square Park in Oswego from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the actual latch on taking place at 10:30 a.m.
For more information on the Big Latch On, like the Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition on Facebook and contact Lisa Emmons at Mother Earth Baby (315) 216-4622.
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, or the many services offered through the WIC Program, visit their main office located at the OCO Oswego Health Center, 10 George St. in Oswego, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., or call 315-343-1311, or toll free 1-888-730-3803.
OCO is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966.
A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 80 separate locations.
For more information, visit www.oco.org