After decades of bottle-feeding being the norm for new moms in the United States, breastfeeding has officially made a comeback. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2013 Breast Feeding Report Card, 77 percent of new mothers breastfeed their babies, compared to 71 percent a decade ago. In the 1950s, extensive marketing campaigns by infant formula producers made bottle-feeding standard. It is now clear, however, that breast milk has many proven benefits over formula for both mother and child. Breast milk contains nutrients, cells, hormones and antibodies not replicable in formula that protect babies against illness.
According to the CDC, breastfed babies have lower risks of ear and gastrointestinal infections, diabetes and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers. The skin-to-skin bond formed through breastfeeding also helps babies feel secure, warm and comforted, and boosts feel-good, bonding hormones in mothers. However, breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally or easily, and because formula feeding was so prevalent in the 20th century, new moms are often unable to seek guidance from their mothers and grandmothers. That’s where organizations like the Breastfeeding Resource Center (BRC) come in.
The BRC’s mission is to provide new moms with the support they need for successful breastfeeding from birth through weaning. Programs offered by the BRC include one-on-one consultations with International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, back-to-work consultations and free weekly support groups. BRC serves about 900 women a year and is a local leader for guidance, education and expert clinical breastfeeding services. While the Affordable Care Act has stipulated that insurance companies should provide breastfeeding counseling without co-pays, many insurance companies have yet to implement the plan changes that would allow for such coverage. Because the BRC is a nonprofit, direct services are provided on a sliding scale of payment according to family size and income level. The BRC relies on grants, donations and fundraising events for much of its funding.
The BRC will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Friday, October 18 with their 7th annual Fall Bash at MaGerks Pub and Grill in Fort Washington. Adults (21 and over) are invited to attend and raise funds that will allow the BRC to continue providing support to moms and babies of all income levels throughout the Philadelphia region. Through auctions and raffles, guests will have the chance to win items such as tickets to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Please Touch Museum, autographed sports memorabilia, spa and beauty items and more great prizes. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online at the BRC’s website, www.breastfeedingresourcecenter.org, or by calling the BRC at 215-886-2433. Tickets include dinner, drinks, and entertainment. MaGerks is located at 582 S. Bethlehem Pike in Fort Washington, PA.
For additional information, contact the BRC at 215-886-2433 or email@example.com.