Baby Carrying Slings for New Moms to Promote Breastfeeding and Bonding
For release July 25, 2005
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An East Bay group is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) by promoting breastfeeding as a way to reduce the risk that infants will develop obesity problems as they grow older.
The Contra Costa Breastfeeding Task Force will distribute 250 new baby slings to promote breastfeeding and closeness between mothers and babies and to reduce the risk of obesity, which is rising at an alarming rate. The new slings were sewn by volunteer individuals and organizations recruited from the community. They will be distributed in classes at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and WIC program, and during home visits by Contra Costa Health Services Public Health Nurses, Welcome Home Baby and Prenatal Care Guidance staff. Mothers will be taught how to use the slings safely and will be given tips and suggestions. (Tips and other information are available online)
"Infants who breastfeed are less likely to be overweight. A bottle-fed infant needs more milk to satisfy its sucking need and bottle feeding causes parents to tend to push the baby to finish the bottle," says Nancy Hill, Breastfeeding Program Coordinator for the Contra Costa Health Services. Early overfeeding with a bottle may lead the baby to expect more at a feeding.
Hill says the sling is convenient, making it possible to breastfeed discretely while working, getting things done around the house, shopping or eating in a restaurant. The sling also frees moms to care for older siblings, reduces crying and colic and even enhances learning.
"Carried babies have enhanced visual and auditory alertness, and increased 'quiet alertness' times," says Hill, adding that carrying a baby promotes bonding and enhances parents’ feelings of competence.
The sling project was made possible through donations and sewing skills of organizations, businesses and individuals (Complete list). Slings are also available at stores that sell baby supplies and equipment.
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- Nancy Hill