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QPTV Presents: Around Queens With Luchia Dragosh - Breastfeeding Awareness

Around Queens

In this episode of Around Queens with Luchia Dragosh, joins the community baby shower in celebrating World Breast Feeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (JHMC). The team of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (JHMC) and the guests, including council woman Karen Koslowitz spoke about the importance of breastfeeding and how it can benefit mothers' and babies' health. Babies who are breastfeed are less likely to develop respiratory diseases such as asthma, gastrointestinal diseases and conditions that can affect health later on in life such as obesity and diabetes. Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop diseases such as ovarian cancer. JHMC offers free breastfeeding education classes, support groups, social services, baby safety education classes and more, which have increased exclusive breastfeeding rates among the mothers the hospital supports from below 5% to 46%. This improvement will allow us to bridge the gap and help reduce the occurrence of health conditions that are prevalent within our region. July 20, 2017 (Jamaica, NY) — Statistics provided by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) show that exclusive breastfeeding rates in the City are low; especially among women who live in areas of Southwest Queens which has one of the lowest rates in the nation. Data indicates that while over 80% of women living in New York City initiated breastfeeding approximately only 30% of mothers continued to breastfeed exclusively within the first few weeks of their baby’s lives. The disparity in these rates is a public health concern as The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months of their lives. Breastfeeding provides the optimal nutrition needed to support a child’s development and reduce the occurrence of health problems that are prevalent in New York City such as asthma (10% of children living in New York City have a diagnosis of asthma) as well as other medical conditions including diabetes and obesity. “The gap in these numbers does raise concern; however; we can make improvements and address inequities in our population’s health early in life by encouraging exclusive breastfeeding, “states Marge Lilienthal, Director of Nursing at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. “Jamaica Hospital has implemented several community initiatives to tackle this problem. ” Jamaica Hospital which delivered over 2,200 babies in 2016 has enhanced policies and practices to support breastfeeding mothers. “Our devotion to bridging the gap is reflected in our increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates which have grown from less than 5% to an impressive 46% over a few years,” shares Lilienthal. As part of its mission to increase the percentages in exclusive breastfeeding, Jamaica Hospital offers women who choose to breastfeed several educational, clinical and social programs created to provide support during and after pregnancy. Last year, the administration and staff proudly opened a lactation lounge for all moms visiting and working at the hospital to utilize. Jamaica Hospital has also partnered with key health agencies such NYC DOHMH -New York City Breastfeeding Hospital Collaborative to amplify its community outreach initiatives. “We hope to keep communication constant with parents in our community. In fact we are celebrating International Breastfeeding Week by hosting a baby shower for moms who live in our area and our team of nurses and lactation consultants will discuss the many benefits of breastfeeding,” states Paula Utilla, Lactation Consultant. Jamaica Hospital was recently awarded Baby- Friendly USA® designation- a prestigious and internationally recognized initiative. As a Baby- Friendly® institution, the hospital upholds the strict breastfeeding requirements and guidelines set in place by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). “We are one of few hospitals in the City to earn this recognition. The designation is a result of our mission to provide our community with quality care, encourage mother-infant bonding and offer a comfortable environment for breastfeeding moms,” states Dr. Steven Inglis, Jamaica Hospital Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology. ”