Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly recommend breastfeeding. An initiative within one of the five Health Priorities for New York State, breastfeeding is also directly linked to a lower chance of obesity later in life.
St. Anthony Community Hospital has formed a new Breastfeeding Support Group open to all breastfeeding moms and their babies. Preschool age siblings are also welcome.
The group will meet each Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon at the Warwick Valley Church of the Nazarene, 601 Route 94 North between the villages of Warwick and Florida, NY. The initial meeting on Wednesday, November 19 proved to be a great success.
The Breastfeeding Support Group was created by Amy Fotino, RN, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). The prestigious certification for registered nurses requires 1000 hours of direct patient care involving breastfeeding within the past five years and 90 hours of accredited breastfeeding education within the past 12 months.
Fotino, an OB nurse at the hospital’s Kennedy Birthing Center, has a passion for helping mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. In 2012, she started an online breastfeeding support group, but she also recognized the need for moms to gather together and support each other in person so she created this new group.
Fotino is also the driving force behind the “Breast and Rest at Applefest,” tent, which she began in 2012. Prior to that, there was no place for a nursing mom to comfortably feed her baby at the region’s largest festival. Now, “Breast and Rest” is a feature at the annual event.