Leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, recommend breastfeeding because of the benefits for infants, which include lower risks for ear infections, cancer and digestive problems.
Mothers who breastfeed typically have lower risk for postpartum depression, Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They also avoid the cost of buying bottles and formula.
The New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force has been working for decades to improve opportunities for women who want to breastfeed their babies.
“Our commitment at the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force has always been to advocate for and increase awareness of breastfeeding in order to equip communities with the resources needed to provide support, and protect the rights of children and mothers,” said Executive Director Jennifer Mastripolito.
As part of its mission, the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force holds an annual conference where lactation consultants and medical professionals discuss new trends and issues that arise for breastfeeding mothers. This year’s conference, the 25th annual event, will be held Thursday and Friday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albuquerque.
Featured speaker Anne Eglash, MD, a clinical professor with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, will talk about integrating breastfeeding care into medical practices and supporting breastfeeding during the first weeks postpartum. Dr. Eglash is an associate editor for the Breastfeeding Medicine Journal. She also co-hosts and produces a podcast series called The Breastfeeding Medicine Podcast, which is available free on iTunes.
Dr. Frank J. Nice has practiced as a consultant and author on medications and breastfeeding for more than 40 years. He will hold a session on breastfeeding, pregnancy and marijuana. Another session will cover what professionals should know about medications and breastfeeding.
Laurel Wilson is a pregnancy and lactation expert, and author of such books as “The Greatest Pregnancy Ever: The keys to the MotherBaby Bond” and “Attachment Pregnancy: the Ultimate Guide to Bonding with Your Baby.” One of her sessions will focus on social media and how it may affect new parents.
The conference is primarily geared toward health care providers, lactation consultants and others who work with breastfeeding mothers, such as midwives and pediatricians, said Breastfeeding Task Force Deputy Director Monica Esparza.
The New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force is a nonprofit with chapters throughout most of the state. It works with hospitals and clinics around New Mexico to promote breastfeeding, and advocates for breastfeeding-friendly workplace policies and legislation.