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Worldwide Breastfeeding Week 2010

Our honorees in 2010 include:

Theme: Breastfeeding Just 10 Steps: the Baby Friendly Way*

*Note that currently there is not a Baby-friendly hospital in New Mexico.


Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
  6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
  7. Practise rooming in - allow mothers and infants to remain together - 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

grmc-supports-new-familiesMary Gruszka

Giving babies the best start - Gila Regional Medical Center recognized for supporting new families

Silver City, New Mexico, August 2, 2010: With a new baby comes gifts to welcome the newest addition to the family, and the first gifts are usually supplied by the hospital where the baby was born which sends home items and information to help the new family get started.

Now one item has disappeared from the Happy Beginnings Bags that Gila Regional Medical Center sends home with new parents: the formula company `gift bags." Often containing bottle feeding instruction, coupons, and samples, the formula company's gift is a well-disguised marketing ploy.

GRMC nurse and lactation consultant, Mary Gruszka, IBCLC, talks about the negative influence of the formula gift bags on families, "Multiple studies have confirmed, that these formula discharge bags and all of the enclosed advertising materials have a negative impact on exclusive breastfeeding. Even for a family planning to formula feed, these discharge packs lead them to choose the provided brand name formula with its associated higher cost." The impact is immediate with a significant drop in exclusive breastfeeding reported after just 10 weeks for mothers who receive the formula gift bag as opposed to mothers who did not.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Policy encourages pediatricians to "work actively towards eliminating hospital practices that discourage breastfeeding," like material promoting infant formula in hospitals or including infant formula in discharge packs. The organization also recommends breastfeeding infants for at least the first year of the baby's life as the benefits of breastfeeding are "dose-dependent", i.e., the longer a baby breastfeeds, the more the mother and the baby benefit.

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, the New Mexico Breastfeeding Taskforce, a committee of the New Mexico Pediatric Society, has presented the Shining Star award to hospitals in the state that have eliminated the use of formula company marketing materials. GRMC was one of the ten New Mexico hospitals to receive the award for on-going practices to support breastfeeding. The award was presented to Mindy Suhr, Director of Maternal Child Health, at a ceremony during the last week's GRMC Board Meeting.

""We are pleased to be 1 of 10 New Mexico hospitals to receive the award for on-going practices that support breastfeeding," said Cathy Woodard, CNO and CCS, Gila Regional Medical Center, "We continually look for ways to better serve our families."

Gruszka adds, "This is only one step Gila Regional has taken in the journey towards adopting Baby Friendly practices, a set of ten evidence-based steps designed to provide families with the best possible support for breastfeeding. This year's theme for World Breastfeeding Week celebration is "Breastfeeding the Baby Friendly Way: Just 10 Steps". The community is invited to join us on Thursday for an educational journey describing the ten steps. We will be taking "baby steps" through the hallway connecting Labor and Delivery and the Nursery." GRMC has instituted a monthly support group for mothers called the Mom and Me Café, breastfeeding support services with certified lactation consultants, and offers prenatal classes all free to the community.

The community is invited to attend GRMC's Baby Steps to Success on Thursday, August 5, 2010, at noon in the GRMC Conference Room. For more information on breastfeeding support call the lactation consultants at (575) 538-4676. For information about the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force visit

Polly-Cook-Javalina-Coffee-HousePolly Cook

Moms find support at Javalina Coffee House

Silver City, New Mexico, August 3, 2010: When a customer enters Javalina Coffee House in downtown Silver City, the first thing they notice is the rich smell of fresh brewed coffee, but if the customer happens to be a mother the first thing she will see is the unassuming blue sign at the counter. The small image of a mother cradling an infant in her arms is the universal sign informing nursing mothers that breastfeeding is welcome at the location.

It's the sign and the personal philosophy of Javalina's owner, Polly Cook, has won this year's award or a local business' dedication to promoting and supporting breastfeeding in the community from the Southwest Breastfeeding Council. Beverly Allen-Ananins, Council coordinator, says, "It's a small sign, but it means so much to a nursing mother to know she and her baby are welcomed there."

Cook says the choice to post the sign in her business was simple, "I believe in breastfeeding. It's what Mother Nature intended. Cows feeds calves, goats feed kids.its natural. Society stigmatizes breastfeeding which is really sad, because it's the perfect food for babies."

Cook is correct; studies have found breast milk contains antibodies that help babies fight infections. It also affects insulin levels in the blood, which may make breastfed babies less likely to develop diabetes and obesity. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be breastfed at least for the first year of life, if not longer, as new scientific findings suggest breast milk increases intelligence and neural-functioning, while it decreases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

According to the Center for Diseases Control's Breastfeeding Report Card for 2009, 72 percent of mothers attempt to breastfeed in New Mexico, but by 6 months the percentage of mother's still breastfeeding decreases to 42 percent, and only 14 percent of those infants are exclusively breastfed as recommended, well below the goal set by Healthy People 2010.

Local lactation consultant, Cammie Bacho LBCLC, RN, says, "Social support is the key for mothers to opt for breastfeeding and to continue to breastfeed longer to ensure their babies' health." She says the support from the mother's family and significant other's is essential to success with breastfeeding, but the community can offer support as well by not ostracizing mothers nursing in public.

Cook feels the same about community support for nursing mothers, "We're eating in public, why shouldn't babies?" New Mexico law protects a mother's right to "breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be present (NMSA 1978, Section 28-20-1)." The law was created to protect breastfeeding mothers from discrimination and censure for doing what comes naturally.

Dr. Don Johnson, a pediatrician and spokesperson for Grant County Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, commends the support, ""Given the current epidemic of childhood (and adult) obesity, we all should be doing what we can to encourage breastfeeding by all new mothers. Breastfeeding has a well documented protective effect against a child's subsequent development of eating patterns which lead to obesity. Thus, as a society whether as individuals or businesses or governmental agency employees, we all should be doing all we can to promote breastfeeding, its initiation and continuation. Businesses are encouraged to establish a breast feeding friendly environment where a mother feels comfortable nursing her baby, as Javalina's has done in downtown Silver City."

"We're a diverse crowd at Javalina's and most are very accepting. We've never had a complaint," says Cook. "We also offer teas and drinks for mothers who are health conscious and avoiding caffeine."

Cook breastfed both her daughters, and she is proud to report her grandchildren were also breastfed. "On the vanity side of it, its good for a mother's body and get's you into shape quicker," says Cook. Breastfeeding burns over 500 calories a day and has been shown to have astounding effects on a woman's body when recovering from childbirth.

To pick up a sign for your business or workplace to welcome nursing mothers or to learn more about breastfeeding support in Grant County, call the Southwest Breastfeeding Council at (575) 388-1198 ext. 10. To contact free lactation consultants call Gila Regional Medical Center at (575) 538-4676.

Cammie-Bacho-nurse-receives-awardCammie Bacho

Nurse recognized for supporting moms

Silver City, New Mexico, August 4, 2010: Local nurse, Cammie Bacho has dedicated three decades of her life to the mothers and children of Grant County in the Labor and Delivery Department at Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC). Bacho does more than support a mother through the rigors of childbirth, afterwards she enables mothers to bond more closely with their newborn, and protect their child from a variety of infections all by supporting a single simple decisions a mother makes: to breastfeed.

Bacho is one of two a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) at Gila Regional Medical Center available free to the community for breastfeeding education and consultation. Her commitment to supporting mothers and babies has earned Bacho the esteem of Southwest New Mexico Breastfeeding Council, which recognized her with the award for outstanding promotion of breastfeeding in the community by an individual during this year's World Breastfeeding Week.

"Research has shown breastfeeding gives babies higher IQs and reduces their risk of respiratory infections, gastric upset, diabetes and obesity," says Bacho about her reasons for becoming a lactation consultant. Because of the incredible life-long benefits breastfeeding provides children, Bacho wants to support mothers to continue to breastfeed when confronting difficulties.

The biggest difficulty Bacho sees confronting breastfeeding mothers? Social pressure. "When a mother has the support of her family and significant other, she's always successful. The more positive support a woman receives while breastfeeding, the longer she's likely to continue and have the long-term benefits for the child." Bacho practices what she preaches having breastfed her two children. She is proud to report her grandchildren were also breastfed, "Intergenerational support for breastfeeding makes all the difference."

Recent studies have shown if 90 percent of U.S. women breastfed their babies for the first six months of life, the lives of 900 babies would be saved along with an estimated $13 billion dollars, according to the journal Pediatrics. About 72 percent of New Mexico mothers do at least some breastfeeding, but only 14 percent follow the government guidelines recommending that babies receive only breast milk for the first six months of life.

Pediatrician and spokesperson for Grant County Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, Dr. Don Johnson, praises the efforts of Bacho and her mentor, Mary Gruszka, "Not a week has gone by since I returned to seeing pediatric patients this summer that I have not referred mothers to GRMC's lactation consultants. They have successfully supported these mothers in maintaining breastfeeding, moving a baby from premature infant feeding status to solely breastfeeding and achieving excellent weight gain in these babies. These babies will all have a lowered incidence of illness, along with the nutritional benefits of ingesting the only food specifically made by and for human infants. We are fortunate to have this valuable resource readily available at GRMC."

Bacho and Gruszka offer breastfeeding classes to expectant mothers as part of the GRMC prenatal classes. "We talk about the needs of breastfeeding, medications to be aware of, pumping and storage of milk, and we can assist mothers returning to work with issues of pumping and storage in the workplace." New Mexico was one of the first states to mandate businesses offer "a clean, private space, not a bathroom, in order to foster the ability of a nursing mother who is an employee to use a breast pump in the workplace (NMSA 1978, Section 28-20-2)." Bacho and Gruska are available to consult with any business wishing to become compliant with the law.

"I'm honored and humbled about receiving this award," says Bacho, and she credits her success to the support the entire lactation program receives from GRMC, which last month received an award from the New Mexico Breastfeeding Taskforce for hospital's commitment to promoting breastfeeding in the community. GRMC offers free lactation consulting, the mothers support group the Mom and Me Café twice monthly, prenatal classes and a variety of other services for mothers and babies.

Bacho and Gruszka offer free consultation over the phone or in the privacy of their office by calling 538-4676. They will also be available on Saturday at the Silver City Farmer's Market at the Mom and Baby Comfort Zone from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

To sign up for the next GRMC Prenatal Classes call 538-4194. To learn more about the Southwest New Mexico Breastfeeding Council call 388-1198 ext. 10 or attend the next meeting on Thursday, August 5, 2010 at noon in the GRMC Conference Room, 1313 Hwy 180 East.

Beverly-Allen-Ananins-makes-a-difference Beverly Allen-Ananins

One mom makes a difference

Silver City, New Mexico, August 5, 2010: When Beverly Allen-Ananins arrived in Grant County five years ago the world was a very different place than it is today for mothers and babies. Like 56 percent of women with an infant, Allen-Ananins was returning to work and confronting issues around her choice to continue to breastfeed despite her employment. This was before laws protected nursing mother's rights to breastfeed and pump in the workplace and assured flexible break times to allow for such practices, which are today in effect in New Mexico.

Allen-Ananins says, "One of the reasons I chose the Grant County Community Health, which is part of Gila Regional Medical Center, over other positions offered in the state, was the lactation room and the signs saying breastfeeding was welcome." At the time, such concessions for nursing mothers were revolutionary, and won GRMC an award from the Southwest New Mexico Breastfeeding Council for supporting nursing mothers in the workplace.

Allen-Ananins was assigned to help coordinate the efforts of the Southwest New Mexico Breastfeeding Council, an organization which advocates for the very health philosophy she was living: the lifetime benefits breastfeeding offers for both baby and mother. A lifestyle choice that studies have shown raises children's IQs, social skills in childhood and better mental health later in life. Breastfed babies also have fewer incidents of ear infections, allergies, diarrhea, bacterial meningitis, childhood lymphoma, sudden death syndrome, and diabetes.

Fellow Health Council staff member, Kendra Milligan says, "Beverly has nursed three children over the last five years and never missed a beat at work. Her enthusiasm brought both councils to new levels, reaching goals we never thought possible in our little corner of the state."

Under her guidance, the Southwest New Mexico Breastfeeding Council has founded resource libraries in Catron, Grant, Hidalgo and Luna Counties; expanded services to the four-county region; offered educational opportunities to medical providers and mothers; founded support groups for mothers; sponsored community outreach events, and instituted the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week every August.

The Southwest New Mexico Breastfeeding Council is recognizing Allen-Ananins for her commitment to advocate and support breastfeeding in the community during this year's World Breastfeeding Week.

GRMC lactation consultant, Mary Gruszka says, "placeCityBeverly embodies the commitment a mother makes when choosing to breastfeed her child, whether she is working or at home. It takes the support of the family, the workplace, and the community to see to her success, not just for her personal choice, but for the future health of the child." A study in The Journal of Perinatal Education found mothers with peer and group support breastfed for significantly longer duration and reported higher rates of satisfaction with their experience.

On Allen-Ananins second day in Silver City, she knew the community was there to support her effort, "I was at Javalina Coffee House, and I started nursing my daughter. I was a bit uncomfortable not knowing the local attitude about public breastfeeding." Allen-Ananins had relocated from Hawaii, a state with one of the highest rates of breastfeeding. "Someone approached me and tapped my shoulder. I thought they were going to chastise me and say cover up, but instead the woman praised me for nursing in public. That's when I knew the community supported me as a mother."

She has also made use of the GRMC lactation consultants, whom she praises for talking her through difficulties and supporting her whenever she called, "Mothers need all the support they can get to be successful. "It didn't matter if it was my first or third child, Mary and Cammie were there for me, and so were the support groups."

For more information on any of the breastfeeding support services offered by GRMC lactation consultants call (575) 538-4676. For more information on the SW NM Breastfeeding Council call (575) 388-1198 ext. 10.

Lisa-Turner-and-NoahLisa Turner and Noah

Moms indulged at WIC celebration

Silver City, New Mexico, August 13, 2010: Over 75 moms and babies, plus one dad, turned out to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week with the Women, Infants and Children's Program (WIC) at the Grant County Public Health office last Friday.

WIC event coordinator, Nora Roberts says, "We wanted to pamper all these moms for saving the taxpayers money by choosing to breastfeed their children. Each one saves our community thousands of dollars of formula purchases and health care costs." Recent studies have shown if 90 percent of U.S. women breastfed their babies for the first six months of life, the lives of 900 babies would be saved along with an estimated $13 billion dollars in health care costs, according to the journal Pediatrics.

Marlene Gutierrez explains why she chose to breastfeed while she partook of a complementary manicure at the WIC office, "It's the first healthy choice for my daughter's life."

"We wanted to treat moms to a day to pamper themselves for all they do for their children," said Leona Ogas, a retired WIC employee, who was joined by Dana Duran and Kathleen Gallogs. The three ladies volunteered their time to offer the mothers manicures.

Lisa Turner has been breastfeeding her 3-week old son, Noah. "I wanted to give him the best start in life, and the look in his eyes makes it all worth it." Turner says she had trouble the first two days, like most breastfeeding mothers report, but she is happy she stuck with it.

Brandi Warhank, WIC's internationally certified lactation consultant for the tri-county region, explains many mothers first experience problems because of the social-stigma and the negative view women have of their bodies, "Women need to be confident in their abilities to feed their child. With breastfeeding, women gain empowerment. Sometimes society shies away from discussing the challenges of breastfeeding and the difficulties every mother experiences the first few days or weeks. That's why Grant County has a great support system to help moms be successful."

Father Derek Robbins and 2-year old son, Daymain, were at the celebration, "Daymain was premature, and we had to pump milk to bottle feed him. Most people asked us, `Why go to the trouble?' But I have 13 nieces and nephews who are all breastfeed, and I wouldn't have any other choice for my child. We knew it was all worth it."

As the mothers gathered talk turned to the difficulties each faced and overcame to be successful at breastfeeding, Many mothers expressed dismay that society isn't open enough to share the truth about the benefits of breastfeeding and realities. Tierra Tellez said, "It took awhile, 3 days until I was comfortable with it the first time. Mothers really need support." Tellez has been breastfeeding her fourth child for the last 6 months. "This event is great; it's nice to have the support.and to be appreciated."

Ruth Merrell says she breastfed four out of her five children, and she has persisted breastfeeding her two-month old son, Easton, even though she had surgery. Rosie Rosales has three children and, because of a cesarean, she has been breastfeeding and bottle feeding her 2-month old. Rosales was excited to attend the World Breastfeeding Week celebration.

The breastfeeding mothers were treated to a buffet lunch, haircuts, manicures, massages, corsages, baby slings, blankets, diapers, toys, baby wipes and door prizes. Public Health staff helped make the mothers feel welcome by greeting them at the door with flowers and ushering them into the main hall for food and fun.

All gifts and services were donated by the community including: Otero County Women Prisoners, Premier Transportation, Erika Spoeckle from Shear Reflections, Toy Town, Dominoes, Albertsons, Pizza Hut, Miss Sassy Nails, Mi Casita, Kountry Kitchen, La Mexicana, Billy Casper Wellness Center, Grant County Community Health Council, Mary Alice Misquez, Lupe Provencio's Day Care, Literacy Link Leamos, John Staats, Sun Loans, and New Phaze Beauty.

For more information on WIC services call (575) 388-9353. For free lactation consolation call Gila Regional Medical Center at 538-4676.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 November 2013 17:03

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