OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition recently hosted a baby shower at Oswego Hospital for new 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 and 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 on topics such as the proper way to hold the baby, how breastfeeding works, determining how much food the baby needs, how to know when the baby is getting enough, the importance of proper 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 that serve as peer counselors through the WIC program.
The peer counselors 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 are an excellent resource as they provide education and encouragement while empowering 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.
Lisa Emmons of Mother Earth Baby along with other facilitators 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 a homemade quilt courtesy of the Cobbled Court Quilt Club, a goodie bag a courtesy of The March of Dimes and a chance to win a car seat courtesy of the Traffic Safety Board and 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,” said Bentley. “I’m happy that we were able to collaborate with the Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition, Oswego Hospital, Mother Earth Baby, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, the OCO WIC program, and the Pregnancy Care Center to make this event possible.”
The Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition Baby Shower and other events it hosts are made possible solely through donations of foods, fabric, and other funds from area businesses and the participating agencies.
“The support that we receive is greatly appreciated. I would also like to acknowledge The Bagel Shop, Price Chopper, Green Planet Grocery, and C’s Farms for providing refreshments. Their support helps to ensure that we will be able to hold this event for years to come. Those wishing to help support the efforts of the Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition may contact Emmons at 315-216-4622,” Bentley added.
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., Oswego, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., or call 315-343-1311 or toll free 1-888-730-3803.