Health experts raise awareness about benefits of breastfeeding

Health experts raise awareness about benefits of breastfeeding

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Most mothers are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. But mothers also know the struggle of getting their baby to latch on.

Megan Ashenfelter is a mother of two. She actually gets to bring six-month-old Eden to work with her at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, where she can also breastfeed when Eden calls.

"All the antibodies and nutrients they get from your breast milk," Ashenfelter said. "It was definitely something I wanted to do and the bond that it creates."

Ashenfelter acknowledges some moms may feel nervous about breastfeeding, that it's not discreet, but she says it does not have to be that way.

"A lot of times they can't even tell she's eating," Ashenfelter said. "They can't see anything."

The Lucas County Health Department and WIC program is calling attention to the benefits of breastfeeding this month.

Lactation consultant Gloria Shortridge says she and other experts are there to help moms overcome any troubles they may have.

"Maybe they have a little bit of soreness or mom had a c-section and it might be sore for her to hold the baby there so we might go over different positions so that wouldn't be an issue," Shortridge said.

Shortridge also says moms should know their rights when it comes to pumping in the workplace.

"It says if there are more than 50 employees with the company, then they have to supply an area and a time for mom to pump," Shortridge said. "So it requires to have a sink nearby and a private area."

Experts recommend moms at least trying breastfeeding.

"I've never had a mom say she was sorry she tried it, but I have many mothers who come to me afterwards a few weeks later and say 'Can I still breastfeed?' and we try it," Shortridge said. "But it would have been much easier to try it right from the beginning."

If you need help breastfeeding your child, reach out to WIC at Toledo-Lucas County Health 419-213-4422.

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