MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM)– Breastfeeding is known to be difficult for some women, however WVU Medicine is inviting women to breastfeed among friends.
According to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, about 60% of mothers don’t breastfeed for as long as they initially wanted to. Some of the reasons for this include breastfeeding being against cultural norms or a lack of family support.
“Women would cover up, hide in a bathroom to feed their babies, so we want the public to know this is a normal thing,” said Berkeley Medical Center Lactation Consultant Julie Oswald. “Women should be proud of what they’re feeding their baby and they shouldn’t be afraid to go out in public and do it. We have a gathering of women and their families that are breastfeeding and we’re encouraging them to not cover up when they’re breastfeeding.”
WVU Medicine hosted over 40 women in the global Big Latch On movement to raise awareness and educate women on breastfeeding. According to many of the mothers, breastfeeding wasn’t easy, but it’s created a bond between them and their child that words can’t.
“It was a rough ride in the beginning, definitely took a month to two months to get comfortable with it, but I’ve loved it,” said Berkeley County Mother Hannah Chlebnikow. “It’s a wonderful journey, you just really have to be determined to want to do it but it’s so worth it. The bond that you have with your child is incomparable.”
Over 21,500 children were breastfed at 778 locations in 28 countries last year, and WVU Medicine wants to help break the record.
“Even just the nutrients and benefits of breastfeeding, it’s been super amazing the bond I have with my daughter now,” said Berkeley County Mother Rachel Hancock. “I didn’t have that bond with my son because I didn’t breastfeed and it’s a completely different experience.”
WVU Medicine is hosting its Big Latch On event all weekend.