Healthy milk, healthy lives for more babies...
Despite employment and income setbacks, Jennifer Rankin and her husband did their best to get ready for the birth of their son, Owen. They toured The Christ Hospital labor and delivery unit, they took childbirth and breastfeeding classes, they read several 'how-to' books on infant care. And then Owen was born - more than six weeks early.
"It was overwhelming," Ms. Rankin said. "We felt completely unprepared for the things that come with having a preemie." Owen required tube-feeding, which meant expressing milk with a pump until he was ready to breastfeed on his own. Ms. Rankin didn't own a breast pump, and her insurance wouldn't cover the cost of one so that she could continue feeding her son at home.
Thanks to support from The Andrew Jergens Foundation, The Christ Hospital was able to provide a breast pump and lactation services to Ms. Rankin at no charge.
"I am so incredibly grateful for the help I've received. It's such a relief knowing that when I get home, I can give Owen the nutrition he needs to keep growing and keep getting stronger."
Breastfeeding provides the exact nutrients needed for early development, reduces health risks, enhances the maternal bond, and more. For pre-term babies, breast milk is vital, providing extra calories, vitamins, and protein that support weight gain, as well as live cells that protect against infection.
"It's an honor to have the Andrew Jergens Foundation's support for our program. The Christ Hospital is making important strides in promoting breastfeeding activities, and it's crucial to have the community behind us in this effort. I'm grateful that our program was chosen for this grant because it greatly improves health outcomes for mothers and children," says Robert Stephens, MD, Medical Director of Women's Services at The Christ Hospital.
You, too, can help mothers receive breastfeeding support to give their babies the best start in life by clicking Donate Online at the top of the page.