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Opelousas General Health System Celebrates National Breastfeeding Month

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Opelousas General Health System Celebrates National Breastfeeding Month

As proclaimed by Mayor Donald Cravins in 2013, August will be recognized as National Breastfeeding Month by the City of Opelousas and the Parish of St. Landry. Because August also marks World Breastfeeding Week and Black Breastfeeding Week, Opelousas General Health System plans to celebrate and abide by the mandated social distancing guidelines by hosting a free Virtual Community Baby Shower.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), breast milk is the preferred and most appropriate source of nutrition for infants and 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. 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, 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 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, World Breastfeeding Week, and Black Breastfeeding Week, Opelousas General Health System is offering a free Virtual Community Baby Shower for all new & expectant parents and grandparents on Thursday, August 6th via our OGHS Facebook Event page.

All of the same great community vendors will be sharing their resources with you from the comfort of your own home through an interactive PDF and video format filled with education and information on topics such as pre-natal care, breastfeeding, and new parent resources. There are three ways to participate. First, pre-register by visiting to have all of the Virtual Baby Shower resources sent straight to your inbox on August 1st. Second, mark “Going” on the OGHS Facebook event to be notified when the Virtual Baby Shower resources go live on August 1st, and third, tune in to this event page on August 6th for a day of fantastic information from our Women’s Services team. Participants who interact with the event will be entered to win raffles and tote bags loaded with samples and goodies, which can be picked up at a later date in a drive-thru format.

For more information, visit, our Facebook page or contact Deanna LeJeune at 948-5170.