By Dr. Eric Fein

Breastfeed LA, a Los Angeles-based not-for-profit dedicated to improving the health and well-being of infants and families through education, outreach, and advocacy to promote and support breastfeeding. On Tuesday, November 28 they held a fundraiser in Long Beach and recognized individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to optimizing breastfeeding in Los Angeles.

Breastfeed LA recognized LA County’s Department of Human Resources for its breastfeeding-friendly workplace policies. As the largest employer in Southern California with over 100,000 employees, LA County’s breastfeeding policies impact thousands of families and send the message that the County cares about helping babies and their new mothers get off to a healthy start.

img_5249Breastfeed LA also recognized Harbor-UCLA as a hospital for our efforts in achieving designation as a Baby-Friendly Hospital by Baby Friendly USA. Following through with the “10 steps to successful breastfeeding” that are part of the Baby-Friendly designation is associated with improved breastfeeding rates. Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for babies and and their mothers. For babies, it reduces their risk of infections of the ear, lungs, and GI tract, and reduces their risk of obesity and sudden infant death (SIDS). For their mothers it reduces the risk of breast cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attack.

Pictured are members of Harbor-UCLA’s Breastfeeding Task Force: Pat Strayer, perinatal nurse manager, Janet Landholm, pediatric nurse manager; Theresa Carnes, perinatal nurse educator; Artie McCullough and Michelle Bragger, lactation consultants; and Eric Fein, pediatric hospitalist. Also pictured is Susan Aldana, a board member of Breastfeed LA who provided crucial assistance to Harbor-UCLA staff during the initial certification process.