Promoting Pregnancy Wellness and Breastfeeding Success in Our Communities
As a leading provider of natural and safe products to support pregnancy and nursing, we love to hear about the work that people are doing in our community (and throughout the nation) to promote pregnancy wellness and breastfeeding success. And, we especially love it when these people ask us to partner with them in their efforts. Here are some of the exciting people and organizations we have been working with over the past several months to reach pregnant and nursing women.
A few months ago, our website caught the eye of Amelia Axness, a senior at Macelester College in St. Paul, MN, studying both German Studies and Biology. Amelia contacted us at here at Fairhaven Health as she was formulating her plans to complete a service project in her hometown of Medford, Oregon. As part of her required coursework, she had been studying the importance of routine prenatal care and nutrition for pregnancy wellness. Through her research in this area, she discovered that the women visiting the Jackson County Department of Health and Human Services Clinic in Medford, OR needed better educational materials about the role that prenatal vitamins play in pregnancy wellness and early development of the fetus. She received a fellowship that covered the cost of developing and printing new educational materials for the women, but, she also hoped to provide these low-income women with free prenatal vitamins. We were happy to help! Here is what Amelia had to say about her amazing project:
“With the help of Fairhaven Health I was able to provide the Jackson County Health and Human Services Clinic in Medford, Oregon with 60 pregnancy kits. The kits included a two-month supply of prenatal vitamins (PregnancyPlus®) along with a brief, easy to understand 4×5 card listing the various vitamins and minerals vital for a healthy pregnancy and lactating period. Many young women who visit the clinic are of low-income and are there for a pregnancy screening. The majority of the women qualify for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), Oregon’s Medicaid program. The women are also able to receive prenatal vitamins under their OHP policy. However, from the moment they learn that they are pregnant until the time the paperwork is processed and they can finally get a hold of the vitamins, critical windows of development have come and gone. My goal was to provide those women who couldn’t afford the vitamins during that in-between period with the prenatal vitamins. Years ago the clinic actually would give out free prenatal vitamins to expecting mothers, however that program was canceled due to budget cuts. Ideally I would like to see a permanent reinstatement of such a program and continue to work with the clinic to try and provide those women in need.”
Thanks, Amelia, for stepping out to make a difference in your community and for giving Fairhaven Health the opportunity to help you spread the word about pregnancy wellness.
At Fairhaven Health, we support breastfeeding as the optimal feeding choice for moms and babies. But, we also understand that for some women, “choosing” breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Pregnant woman are constantly bombarded with confusing messages about breastfeeding and formula feeding, and even when new moms want to breastfeed, they often lack the information and support (from peers and professionals) they need to breastfeed successfully.
The American Academy of Physicians recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of a baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby. While we understand that these guidelines might be easily achievable for some women, for other women, achieving these goals requires a Herculean effort. We are committed to helping new moms reach their breastfeeding goals (whatever those goals might be, 1 week to 1 year or longer) and we are proud to partner with several amazing organizations that are working to normalize breastfeeding, provide moms with the evidence-based, unbiased information they need to make a truly informed choice about feeding options, and ensure that moms have the support they need from peers and lactation professionals to successfully breastfeed.
It is our pleasure to support the work of the following breastfeeding organizations in their efforts to make breastfeeding accessible to all moms and babies.
Many new mothers receive their first can of formula for free, from the hospital where they give birth. These “free” samples come at a tremendous cost in terms of breastfeeding success. Cottonwood Kids was created solely to assist in elevating breastfeeding in the eyes of families across the country and to help hospitals and birthing centers create a breastfeeding-friendly environment for their patients. Cottonwood Kids created the Healthy Baby Bag, a useful product designed to store expressed breast milk that is given to new mothers at the hospital where they deliver. Packaged inside the bag are essential breastfeeding product samples and support information for new moms. The Healthy Baby Bag Program was launched in July of 2009, and since then more than 600,000 bags have been sent to more than 500 hospitals around the country.
Best for Babes was founded by Bettina Forbes and Danielle Rigs, two moms eager to change the way breastfeeding is viewed in the United States. Best for Babes is the only mainstream nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of and removing the barriers (The Breastfeeding Booby Traps™) that keep millions of mothers in the U.S. from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. The Best for Babes Credo sums up what makes this organization a champion for moms:
- ALL moms deserve to make a truly informed feeding decision and to be cheered on, coached and celebrated without pressure, judgment or guilt.
- ALL breastfeeding moms deserve to achieve their personal breastfeeding goals without being undermined by cultural & institutional Booby Traps.
One of the things that we love most about Best for Babes is that they use style, fun and glamour as weapons in their fight to eliminate the BoobyTraps. Best for Babes recently partnered with Healthy Child Healthy World and actresses Jenna Elfman, Kelly Preston & former boxer Laila Ali, to host the first-ever event (an afternoon tea at the home of Jenna Elfman) to raise awareness among expecting and new celebrity moms about the barriers to breastfeeding and the benefits of toxin-free living in raising healthy children. Fairhaven Health was honored to participate in this event as a contributing sponsor.
The Leaky Boob
Started in 2010, the Leaky Boob consists of an informative blog, an active Facebook page, and a moderated forum. What caught our attention is the amazing community of support that the Leaky Boob Facebook page provides. With over 500 new people participating in the site each week, the Leaky Boob Facebook page provides a safe and convenient place for breastfeeding families to get immediate answers and support for all of the breastfeeding questions and issues that arise. As most new moms will tell you, this 24/7 help and feedback is vital for breastfeeding success. We are proud to support the work that the Leaky Boob is doing to ensure breastfeeding families feel supported and encouraged in their breastfeeding journey.
La Leche League
La Leche League is an international non-profit organization dedicated to breastfeeding awareness and promotion. Their mission is to help mothers worldwide – through support, encouragement, information and education – to obtain a better understanding of the importance of breastfeeding in the healthy development of the baby, as well as the for the emotional and physical health of the mother. We’ve recently had the honor of supporting our local La Leche League group by donating to their fundraising auction. We provided educational brochures for the attendees as well as provided gift baskets of our nursing supplements and products for the auction. As a leading online retailer, we feel lucky to be able to support our local community as well.
Thanks again to all of these passionate people for allowing us to partner with them in lifting up pregnant and nursing women. Wishing you all pregnancy wellness and breastfeeding success!