Proclaimed by Mayor Donald Cravins in 2013, that August be recognized as National Breastfeeding Month by the City of Opelousas and the Parish of St. Landry , and because World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated internationally August 1-7, Opelousas General Health System plans to celebrate by hosting a free Community Baby Shower.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), breast milk is the preferred and most appropriate source of nutrition for infants, adapting over time to meet the changing needs of the growing baby. Breastfeeding is also a proven primary prevention strategy, protecting both infants and mothers from a host of chronic and acute diseases and conditions and building a foundation for life-long health and wellness. The act of breastfeeding builds a strong emotional connection between the mother and infant, a bond which lasts a lifetime and evidence-based research indicates that infants and children who are breastfed are at a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), infections of the ear, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and urinary tract, asthma, meningitis and obesity.
Opelousas General is the first Baby-Friendly™ designated hospital in Acadiana. Mothers who give birth at Baby-Friendly™ hospitals and birthing centers are more likely to initiate exclusive breastfeeding and are more likely to sustain breastfeeding at six months and one year of age. The Baby-Friendly™ Hospital Initiative is a global effort sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. With 22 years of research to support it, this initiative has become the gold standard in how to care for babies in the hospital. OGHS has also recently earned The Gift designation The Gift is an evidence-based designation program for Louisiana birthing facilities designed to increase breastfeeding rates and hospital success by improving the quality of maternity services and enhancing patient–centered care. The Gift designation gives Opelousas General Health System a better opportunity to achieve further certifications and accreditations, as well as meet national and international quality measures and standards of care.
In celebration and recognition of National Breastfeeding Month and World Breastfeeding Week, Opelousas General Health System is offering a free Community Baby Shower for all new & expectant parents and grandparents, as well as business owners, church and community organization leaders on Thursday, August 9th from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the 3rd floor OGHS Auditorium.
Come talk to our staff about what makes Opelousas General different as Acadiana's FIRST Baby Friendly designated facility. Several community agencies will be on hand to offer education and information on topics such as pre-natal care, breastfeeding, and new parent resources. Pre-natal break-out sessions will be held throughout the event in lieu of our usual 3 weeks of prenatal class. These mini-sessions will cover topics that include breastfeeding, labor comfort measures, infant care and safety, and a brand new class for grandmothers-to-be called Nana's Time. See flyer for class schedules.
RSVP is not required to attend the Community Baby Shower, however, if you would like to register for the next series of Pre-natal classes in October or December, please visit www.opelousasgeneral.com, our Facebook page or contact Darlene Fontenot at 948-5103.