By: Lauren Macaluso, MD, FAAP, FABM, IBCLC, (Breastfeeding Medicine, New Hyde Park, NY)
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) organizes World Breastfeeding Week annually from August 1-7. The slogan for this year’s event is, Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding involves not just moms and babies, but partners as well. Research shows women with strong support from their partner are more likely to initiate and continue breastfeeding.
Both parents play a tremendous role in the health of their children. Breastfeeding and supporting breastfeeding are both essential. Partners are supporting breastfeeding by attending classes and doctor’s visits. They are embracing breastfeeding information and playing an active part in the breastfeeding relationship.
Partners are telling moms what a great job they’re doing and how proud they are. They are cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and helping to care for other children. They are holding the baby skin to skin, cuddling, bathing and changing diapers. Partners are letting moms know they are there to help them get through frequent feeds and doubts about the baby getting enough milk. They are helping moms to get the support they need by calling to schedule a breastfeeding visit or softly encouraging her to speak to her healthcare provider about a possible postpartum mood disorder.
As a breastfeeding medicine provider, I am honored to work with amazing families. I have seen an increase in partner involvement in my office over the years. Partners are coming to every visit, asking questions, taking notes, playing an active role in the mechanics of latch, stepping right up to change diapers, burp baby, and express love and admiration for their partner.
When we empower both parents, we enable breastfeeding, one of the best investments in health for mom, baby and family. It’s a joy to be part of.
Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
Dr. Lauren Macaluso provides specialized medical care for breastfeeding mothers and their children. She received her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, her medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and completed her pediatric residency at Children’s National Medical Center of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. While nursing her own two children, and working part-time with medical students and residents in a newborn nursery, Dr. Macaluso identified a need for breastfeeding focused care and started her practice in 2006.