Happy Holidays from the Wood County Breastfeeding Coalition!  The holidays are a fantastic time to reflect upon the past year and we are thrilled with what has been accomplished in 2015!  We are so thankful for everyone who supports families, mothers and infants in Wood County through support and participation in the Wood County Breastfeeding Coalition.  

This year's highlights definitely included the addition of the Circle of Moms Breastfeeding Support Groups in Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids.  They are a fantastic time for moms to fellowship and ask questions.  We also had a great time at our Fall Family Fun Day!

In 2016, we are excited for our yearly events, including our second annual MommyFest on February 6th!   We are also looking forward to strengthening our breastfeeding friendly business outreach with new materials, media outreach and much much more!

Thank you for your continued support of the Wood County Breastfeeding Coalition!
-Amber France and Leah Meidl
Co-Chairs of the Wood County Breastfeeding Coalition

Upcoming Events!

Every Tuesday and Friday
Weight Check and Breastfeeding Clinics at the Wood County Health Department in Wisconsin Rapids Tuesdays from 1-4pm and Fridays from 9am-Noon

Every Thursday at 10:00am
 Circle of Mom's Breastfeeding Support Group at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
Every Tuesday at 1:00pm
Circle of Mom's Wisconsin Rapids Breastfeeding Support Group at the Wood County Health Department
February 6, 2016
Join us for our second annual MommyFest at the Holiday Inn in Marshfield!

April, 23rd, 2016
Join us for our annual Milky Miles 5K for breastfeeding.  New this year- a 10K course as well!  Register early for the early bird rate!

STOP!  Is it Really a Dairy Protein Intolerance?

In the  first few months of baby's life, many parents are quite concerned when their baby seems unusua lly fussy or gassy.  Often times, the mother's intake of dairy is inappropriately  blamed for these  infant behaviors during the breastfeeding journey.  Before a mother gives up eating some of the calciu m and protein rich foods that she loves
Before a mother gives up eating some of the calcium and protein rich foods that she loves and needs to maintain good health it is important to do a thorough assessment of the infant and look for the true signs of a dairy protein allergy.  According to an article by Herbert Brill, MD (2008) the true incidence of true dairy protein intolerance is only 0.4% to 0.5% of infants. Unfortunately, many more infants are diagnosed with a milk protein intolerance and mothers are forced to eliminate needed foods from their diet, or even just to quit breastfeeding altogether.  

To avoid making a false diagnosis of a dairy protein intolerance in a breastfed baby, it is of upmost importance that healthcare providers are familiar with the signs and symptoms.  Gassiness, fussiness and even green stools are not signs of an intolerance.  Signs and symptoms will develop shortly after these proteins are introduced into baby's breast milk (so very early in the breastfeeding journey).  True signs to screen for, according to GI Kids (2013) include: 

-Vomiting (spitting up is normal too!)
-Inconsolable crying (remember, crying is normal, especially in infants through 12 weeks of age- key word is inconsolable!)
-Blood in the stools
-Babies can also present with wheezing, irritability, facial swelling, and poor growth due to poor absorption of nutrients.

There unfortunately are no diagnostic tests to diagnose a true milk protein intolerance, but, the treatment for a suspected case includes the mother removing all dairy and soy from her diet.  It can take multiple weeks for all of the proteins to be eliminated from her system, so she must continue with the elimination diet for up to 4 weeks before evaluating the baby to determine if the symptoms have stopped.

Are You Really Ready to Wean?

Many mothers feel pressure to wean after baby's first birthday.  But is it really necessary? No!  There are many great benefits to breastfeeding beyond one year of age!  These include:

-Bonding time with a busy toddler
-Continued protection from illness and disease from the wonderful immune properties in the breast milk
-A go to comfort food (with TONS of vitamins, minerals and nutrients) to feed when your toddler is not feeling well
-Your toddler is able to achieve independence at their own pace, not when society decides that it is time
-You have a perfect snack for any time you are on the go
-Breast milk continues to provide awesome nutrients like calcium
-Hydration for a busy toddler who may not have time to drink from a cup but always has time to nurse
-Less risk for obesity
-Brain development!

So don't rush it- they grow up too fast as it is!  Continue breastfeeding until you are both ready to wean. Other moms are great support for continued breastfeeding, and may have some great reasons to share with those in your life who think that breastfeeding is just for babies.  Check out our Circle of Moms Breastfeeding Support Groups OR our Wood County Breastfeeding Moms Facebook group! 
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Baby Friendly is Coming to Wood County!

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. It recognizes and awards birthing facilities who successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.  

We are thrilled to announce that both of the hospitals in Wood County are exploring opportunities to obtain Baby Friendly status!

Aspirus Riverview Hospital in Wisconsin Rapids has completed the Discovery Phase and are in the Development Phase, which is Step 2 of 4 to becoming Baby Friendly. They have convened a Baby Friendly team which includes Dr. Lawrence Leibert, Corrine Fleisner IBCLC, Deb Thorstenson IBCLC, Kim Dammann CLS, Amber France IBCLC, Don Smith from Aspirus Riverview Quality Department and Maggie Joosten Director of the Family Birth Place.  They have until August 2016 to complete this step. They have implemented skin to skin for vaginal and cesarean section deliveries and are investigating ways to promote/educate/encourage families regarding the benefits of breastfeeding/breast milk.

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital is currently exploring the opportunity to become Baby Friendly, more details to come soon!