By: Jessica Seyfried, TVCCA Community Health Coordinator
On August 12th the New London County Health Families Partnership (TVCCA) hosted a Community Forum on the state of breastfeeding in New London County, CT. We discussed the current status of breastfeeding in the county with a focus on normalizing and encouraging breastfeeding in the region.
The State Department of Public Health presented data on how New London County compares regarding breastfeeding initiation and duration in comparison to the rest the county and in Connecticut. TVCCA’s WIC Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) discussed the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding and supporting mom post-partum and during breastfeeding. Our two county hospital IBCLCs discussed how baby friendly practices improve many child and mother outcomes, especially early breastfeeding success. A local Nurse Midwife/IBCLC talked about how her office made physical changes to support breastfeeding, and a Pediatrician outlined what she sees as the most challenging barriers of achieving breastfeeding goals. Connecticut’s Breastfeeding Coalition presented on one of their projects – recruiting businesses to be breastfeeding friendly. Lastly, our special guests, a local mom and dad, shared their successes and struggles through their journey of breastfeeding.
The day ended with a Call to Action from our State Breastfeeding Coordinator, Marilyn Lonczak. Marilyn outlined how each sector can do their part to support breastfeeding in New London County. Attendees left with a charge to make positive changes in support of breastfeeding across the diverse population of our community, and all of our mutual clients. Overall, the day was a resounding success! As the conference was wrapping up there was a tangible feeling of excitement and support as we set out to transform New London County into a Breastfeeding Friendly community.