Oswego County Opportunities’ WIC program recently collaborated with REACH CNY (Resources, Education, Advocacy and Collaboration for Health) and Oswego Health to host a Community Breastfeeding Shower for new mothers and expectant mothers involved with the WIC program.
An annual event, the Community Breastfeeding Shower was spearheaded by REACH CNY, a Central New York non-profit organization that works through education and advocacy to:
- Ensure access and support for the full range of quality, culturally-sensitive health and human services;
- Reduce teenage pregnancies; and
- Promote the health and well-being of individuals and families.
Facilitated by Kathleen Hayden of REACH CNY, the shower featured an enlightening presentation regarding the expectations of motherhood and the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as education and discussion regarding nutrition throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Kim Kelley, certified lactation counselor with OCO’s WIC program, said that the event was a perfect complement to the efforts of the program’s peer counselors.
“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. Our peer counselors are an important part of the support system that breastfeeding mothers need. The presentations during the community baby shower use a multi-media approach that enhances what they’ve learned from our peer counselors and provides them with a detailed visual that clearly demonstrates how to properly begin, and continue, breastfeeding their babies. Fathers were also welcome to attend as they play a key role as a supporter in the mother’s decision to breastfeed,” said Kelley.
As no baby shower is complete without gifts, those in attendance received a variety of items including: baby quilts from Lake Country Quilt Guild in Oswego, Lansinoh and Avent manual breast pumps and milk collection kits, and gift bags filled with toys, food, and other baby accessories courtesy of REACH CNY.
“It was a wonderful learning experience for our mothers and I’m happy that we were able to collaborate with REACH CNY and Oswego Health to make this event possible,” added Kelley.
In an effort to continue raising awareness, creating community connections, and supporting local breastfeeding families, OCBC has once again registered Oswego as an official site for The Big Latch On.
“This is an international event,” said Kelley. “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. In 2012, 8,862 women participated across the globe, including 20 here in Oswego.”
“This year’s event, hosted by the Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition, will be held Saturday, Aug. 3 in Franklin Square in Oswego from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Like us on Facebook and pre-register at www.eventbrite.com ‘The Big Latch On – Oswego’, or contact Lisa Emmons at Mother Earth Baby (315) 216-4622,” added Kelley.
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 them at 315-343-1311, or toll free 1-888-730-3803.
One of Oswego County’s largest employers, OCO provides more than 50 human service programs that touch the lives of over 30,000 county residents each year.
OCO’s mission is to build partnerships that improve the quality of life and create successful communities.
Visit OCO on the web at www.oco.org
Oswego County Opportunities is a member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County.