Oklahoma City Indian Clinic promotes breastfeeding during World Breastfeeding Week.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, promotes breastfeeding every day, including during World Breastfeeding Week.
World Breastfeeding Week starts August 1st and shines a light on the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), breastfed babies are less likely to have asthma, leukemia, obesity, ear infections, SIDS, diarrhea and vomiting.
“Breast milk is full of cells, hormones and antibodies your baby needs to stay healthy,” said Janice Hixson, MD, OKCIC’s Chief Medical Officer. “As your baby grows, the milk adapts to fit their changing needs.”
Breastfeeding has health benefits for the mother, too. According to HHS, breastfeeding leads to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
“Lots of mothers find breastfeeding to be more cost-effective,” Hixson said. “Formula and feeding supplies can be expensive, but breastfeeding is free.”
Breastfeeding also creates a unique bond between mother and baby. The skin-to-skin contact boosts oxytocin, which helps the baby feel secure and comforted. Oxytocin also helps the mother feel calm and keeps the supply of breast milk flowing.
Some mothers struggle at first to get the baby to latch. This is common, and usually isn’t a sign of health issues. Signs of a good latch include no hurting or pinching, the baby’s chest is against your body, the baby’s mouth is filled with breast and you see little or no areola.
If breastfeeding hurts or you feel the baby has a weak suck, you can break the baby’s suction by placing a clean finger in the corner of their mouth and try again to get a deeper latch. If your baby is frustrated, take a short break and try to calm them down.
“It’s okay to have questions about breastfeeding,” Hixson said. “Talk to your health care provider about seeing a lactation counselor.”
Breastfeeding has incredible health benefits, and it’s a great way for mothers to bond with their babies.
About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 20,000 patients from over 200 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services, including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 or visit www.okcic.com.