News and Events
Have you visited our
new blog, Texasbreastfeeding.org? We are discussing breastfeeding and sharing donor mom and recipient stories. Visit today
and tell us what you think by commenting on a post!
Saturday, Feb 23, 2013
Come see us at
DFW Family Expo
10 am- 5 pm at Centennial Hall in Fair Park, Dallas
April 20, 2013
Ft. Worth March of Dimes - March for Babies
We are starting the year off strong with more than 200 of our current donor moms collecting and donating their donor human milk to us. Thank you!
We have a great newsletter this month. The first article is all about birth defect prevention. The COMMUNITY PARTNERS Section features Shannon Wingo, Breastfeeding Coordinator at WIC and Chair of the Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition.
And, MOMS CONNECT shares Lucy's story, as told by her mom Cynthia Olsen. Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing Lucy with us all.
Check out all the cuties sent to us by our Facebook Friends. These Bundles of Joy are bundled up nicely for the cold. Cute!!
Thanks for all that you do,
|National Birth Defects Prevention Month|
Did you know January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month?
According to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network , every 4.5 minutes a baby is born with a birth defect or 1 in every 33 babies. Babies who have birth defects are sometimes at a higher risk for developing lifelong physical, cognitive or social challenges.
While many birth defects cannot be prevented because the causes are unknown, there are some measures mothers can take in order to lower the risk of their child being born with one. Such steps include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, knowledge of one's family health history and attending routine visits with a healthcare provider. Although these may seem like small actions to take, they can make a big difference in an infant's life.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the number one priority before and during pregnancy. Many women who are planning to become pregnant schedule a preconception meeting with their doctor; the goal is to manage any current, known conditions or determine possible health complications.
The National Birth Defects Prevention Network also recommends the following birth defect prevention strategies:
- manage chronic maternal illnesses such as diabetes, seizure disorders, or phenylketonuria (PKU)
- reach and maintain a healthy weight
- talk to a health care provider about taking any medications, both prescription and over-the-counter
- avoid alcohol, smoking, and illicit drugs
- see a health care provider regularly
- avoid toxic substances at work or at home
- ensure protection against domestic violence
- know their family history and seek reproductive genetic counseling, if appropriate
Another way to prevent birth defects is to consume 0.4 milligrams of folic acid daily. According to The March of Dimes Foundation, folic acid supports spinal cord and brain development during the first weeks of pregnancy. Folic acid is found in fortified grains and can easily become a part of your diet by incorporating grain foods such as rice, pasta, cereal, bread and oatmeal.
For more information about National Birth Defects Prevention Month, please visit National Birth Defects Prevention Network or The March of Dimes Foundation.
Shannon O'Quinn Wingo R.D., L.D., IBCLC, RLC
- Registered Dietitian/Board Certified Lactation Consultant
- WIC Area Coordinator/Breastfeeding Coordinator, Tarrant County Public Health WIC Program
- Chair of the Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition
For the past 22 year you've worked as a lactation consultant and breastfeeding coordinator for Texas' Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, first in East Texas, Dallas, and Waxahachie (serving 72 counties in Texas) now in Fort Worth. What does WIC do for our community of breastfeeding moms?
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is a nutrition education program which provides supplemental foods to promote good health for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age five. All services are free to those who qualify. Participants must meet income guidelines and residency requirements.
Our breastfeeding support efforts include conducting individual counseling and group classes on breastfeeding, providing an enhanced supplemental food package for breastfeeding mothers, providing several different types of breast pumps to moms including hospital grade loaner pumps for our most fragile premature infants, and supporting the Texas Friendly Mother Worksite program.
Why is this work so important to you?
Breastfeeding can be hard for a new mom, but the benefits it provides really does make it a worthwhile experience. Before becoming a mom myself three years ago, I supported thousands of moms through their breastfeeding experiences. Then, after my daughter Elizabeth was born in 2009, I continued to work while pumping and storing her milk. I think it was the hardest work I'd ever done, however, I'm committed to nursing and Elizabeth still receives my breastmilk.
I'm working to make sure that breastfeeding is more widely acceptable by time my daughter is a mom. I want her to be able to go to the grocery story, the park or work and know this is an acceptable practice in our culture!
How can more moms successfully breastfeed their babies?
- Ask for help. Our current culture doesn't give women permission to ask for help. I think new moms need to ask for help. And WE - breastfeeding supporters & educators - need to reach out to them, too! It is hard to pick up that 100-pound phone and call somebody - a lactation consultant or your local WIC office. There are too many moms Googling for the answers they need, and not every question can be answered by reading a screen. Put any pride or reservations aside and take the initiative to reach out for the help you might need.
- Nurse frequently, even if you don't think you have milk. Nursing frequently will help establish, maintain or grow your milk supply as needed.
- Family members aren't always helpful, so you should get the emotional support you need from your partner or your lactation consultant. However, there are many resources out there to educate your family, too!
- Set your own personal breastfeeding goal, tied to a date. When you reach that goal, consider to extend your original goal. Once you get "the hang of it," you may find that it has become so much easier. Don't beat yourself up at any time during your breastfeeding journey. Celebrate your success when you reach your goals!
You are also the Chair of the Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition. Can you tell us how this organization is working to change the perception of breastfeeding?
Founded in April 2011, The Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition is comprised of more than 50 breastfeeding moms, lactation consultants, pharmacists, neonatologists, doulas, nurses, peer counselors, supportive dads and partners and lactavists who all want the world to know that breastfeeding is important and normal.
In August of 2012, we hosted Texas' largest "Latch On". You can see great event photos here and then mark your calendars for August 3, 2013, the date of our next Latch On event.
We are also a proponent of the Texas-Mother Friendly Worksite initiative. Mother-Friendly Worksites are businesses that proactively support employees who choose to breastfeed their infants. Creating and implementing a Mother-Friendly policy is both simple and inexpensive. The most basic Mother-Friendly policies need only provide a private space, flexible scheduling for break time and other basic support so that mothers may express and store breastmilk for their babies.
Tarrant County currently has 12 Texas Mother-Friendly Worksites. We have formed a community outreach committee and any business that contacts us will receive the technical assistance needed to organize programs that help them reach a Mother-Friendly Status.
Anyone can be a member and babies are always welcome! Save the date: Our next meeting will be Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Questions? Call me at (817) 321-5420 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boulder City, NV
I didn't realize I had a large milk supply until my second child was born.
Lucy weighed 5 pounds and 12 ounces, and was in the NICU for two months. I was so grateful that I was able to pump and provide breastmilk for my child. In fact, I was asked to not bring any more milk into the NICU because I was taking up so much space in the freezer!
We enjoyed our daughter Lucy for seven months before she was called back to heaven. Lucy had lissencephally, a rare brain malformation in which the surface of the brain is smooth rather than full of ridges and folds.
Looking back, I recognize how breastmilk positively impacted her small fragile body. There was little I could do for her brain defect; however, as her mother, I wanted to give her the nutrition she needed in order to add more days to her life. In retrospect, I now believe I was giving more life to her days. Lucy lived longer than expected and she had very few illnesses--I truly believe this was because she received breastmilk.
I didn't learn about The Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas until 10 years later when my fifth child was born. I received an email at work about a new drop-off location in Las Vegas and quickly began the donor process.
Working as a registered nurse at the Children's Hospital of Nevada in the pediatric department, I know what breastmilk can do for critically ill babies. A lot of times I see mothers become discouraged because breastfeeding is so difficult for them. I highly encourage all moms to do their very best when it comes to breastfeeding, and to do it for as long as possible because it truly is the best nutrition for all babies.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to donate so that I can help other babies like Lucy and see my extra milk get put to good use.