Early the next morning, I curiously looked up the definition of the word nurse. Over one hundred years ago, Florence Nightingale defined it as “the act of utilizing the environment of the patient to assist him in his recovery.”
We need YOU! The Virginia Department of Health’s Central Virginia Health District and Live Healthy Lynchburg are showing their love for moms with the launch of their Breastfeeding Welcome campaign! From February 14 through Mother’s Day, CVHD, LHL, and community partners (YOU!) will be visiting Lynchburg-area businesses to encourage them to become breastfeeding friendly!
The campaign will utilize volunteers to spread the benefits of breastfeeding to local organizations. Those wishing to become a “Breastfeeding Friendly Organization” will post the campaign’s “Breastfeeding Welcome” sticker in their windows, a signal to the 90% of moms that leave Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital breastfeeding that they are welcome to do so inside.
Would you and a group of friends be willing to cover an area of our community? We are encouraging our volunteers to visit businesses that they currently frequent, using phrases like, “I’d love to post a sticker in your window to let other breastfeeding mothers know that you welcome them, just as you’ve welcomed me!”
More information below:
By becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Organization, area locations will enjoy several benefits, including free advertising from Live Healthy Lynchburg and area media. Families searching for breastfeeding-friendly venues will also be directed to these establishments. By allowing women to breastfeed on premise, organizations will also be in compliance with state legislation. Virginia statute § 18.2-387 on indecent exposure states that, "No person shall be deemed to be in violation of this section for breastfeeding a child in any public place or any place where others are present."
Becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Organization has great benefits for the community as well, as breastfeeding has a positive impact on the health of both babies and mothers. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of later childhood obesity, and evidence has shown that obese children are more likely to become obese adults. It also protects the infant against short- and long-term illnesses, lowers the risk of postneonatal mortality (infant death), and is protective against SIDS. Breastfeeding is great for mothers, too, by helping shed baby weight, providing bonding time, and decreasing mom’s risk of certain cancers.
I’m a formula feeding mom. Not by my mind’s choice, but my body’s. Most days I really don’t think twice about it. I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel guilty. I just shake up a bottle, hold my little one close and watch her drink up like it’s nectar straight from heaven.
Last night though, she caught her brother’s cold. She couldn’t breathe; she couldn’t sleep. Thoughts of guilt started setting in. If only I could of breastfeed, she wouldn’t be sick. She would be getting all of the garlic and vitamin C I had been downing over the last few days. If I could nurse her, she would be comforted, she could be lulled back to sleep. For a moment, I felt helpless and a bit jilted. But then I remembered, I may not have milk, but I’m her mama. Nursing is not the only way my body was designed to comfort. I picked up her sniffling, crying body and wrapped it up in her soft cotton “baba”. I held her close while I swayed back and forth, pacing the floor. I sang and “shhhhhed” right next to her little ear, feeling her sweet wispy hair on my cheek. I drank in her scent and hoped she was doing the same of me. She relaxed and stopped crying. I sat down and rocked her and held her up against the left side of my chest so she could hear my heart beating. I squeezed her deliciously chubby thighs and patted her back and listened to her breath become slower and more calm. First rest, then sleep, then deep slumber. I had done it.
I prayed for strength and patience, knowing that this routine would be deja vu at 11pm, 2am, 4am and so on. I didn't mind.
Early the next morning, I curiously looked up the definition of the word nurse. Over one hundred years ago, Florence Nightingale defined it as “the act of utilizing the environment of the patient to assist him in his recovery.” I smiled knowing I had not breastfed my baby, but I had nursed.