Thursday, March 3, 2016

New Breastfeeding Support Group to Host Open House March 7

The Breastfeeding Friendly Group (BFF Group), started by the University of South Alabama Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will host an open house on Monday, March 7, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. at the USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital Campus.

The group, which provides new mothers with one-on-one breastfeeding guidance, was founded by a group of USA nurses, lactation counselors and physicians who saw a great need for breastfeeding support within the community. As medical professionals and moms, creators of the BFF Group wanted to develop a place to help calm breastfeeding fears and educate new mothers.

During the weekly meetings, USA physicians will lead brief educational talks specific to moms and their infants. Nurses and lactation consultants will be available to provide newborn weight checks and to answer general questions. The BFF Group also gives new mothers the opportunity to fellowship with other moms who share similar experiences.

Genevieve Mantell, nursing supervisor the USA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said breastfeeding is important for a variety of health reasons, including providing infants with vital nutrients and immune support. Nationally, Alabama ranks in the bottom five lowest scores for women who choose to exclusively breastfeed. Likewise, Mobile County has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the state. The BFF Group was developed to improve these statistics. Studies have shown that the availability of breastfeeding support after leaving the hospital directly improves a community’s breastfeeding rates. “The BFF Group is the first of its kind in Mobile County,” Mantell explained. “We are not just peer support; we can assess and help a mom and her infant with medical judgement and expertise.”

The BFF Group’s mission is to empower all moms in the community by promoting and encouraging breastfeeding through an open, educational, social-group environment.

The group’s open house will be held on March 7, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. at the Allen Cox Building Conference Room at 204 Lambert Avenue in Mobile, Ala.  Meetings are held every Monday from 5:30-7 p.m. and are free of charge. All soon-to-be mothers, postpartum mothers, spouses and support partners are invited.

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