Laurie Marks, N.P.
Rasheed Yakubu, M.D.
Masoud Ahdieh, M.D.
ROCKINGHAM – Despite all of the information about the benefits of breastfeeding to both baby and mother, many moms continue to shy away from it.
Laurie Marks, N.P., a nurse practitioner with the Women & Children’s department at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, is trying to change that.
Marks will speak about the benefits of breastfeeding during the hospital’s upcoming Pregnancy Fair. The annual event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, in the RMH cafeteria.
Marks will remind Pregnancy Fair participants about the benefits of breastfeeding to the baby that begin with the “liquid gold” of colostrum, the low-fat, high-protein first milk that contains antibodies that help protect newborns from infection. She will also talk about the relationship between breastfeeding and post-pregnancy weight-loss for new mothers.
“Making breast milk burns a lot of calories,” Marks says. “There’s also the benefit of the hormone oxytocin, which helps get the uterus down to its pre-pregnancy size.”
The short- and long-terms benefits to the baby are numerous, Marks will point out. Breast milk is very easy for the baby to digest, and studies have shown a decreased risk of eczema, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and even childhood leukemia in breast-fed babies.
Breast-fed babies also have fewer ear, gastrointestinal and respiratory infections than bottle-fed babies, and they are less likely than bottle-fed babies to suffer from asthma, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
“We’ll also talk about tips to get a good start on breastfeeding,” Marks says. “That’s a big thing. Moms don’t have to do anything before delivery other than read and talk to other moms. If you don’t know what to do, there will be nurses (during the hospital stay) you can ask.”
Other presenters at the upcoming Pregnancy Fair will include obstetrician Rasheed Yakubu, M.D., and pediatrician Masoud Ahdieh, M.D. Related activities will include tours of Richmond Memorial’s Birthing Center and presentations on anesthesia for labor; the proper way to blanket, change and swaddle a baby; and how to position a baby for sleep.
Pregnancy Fair participants will be eligible for drawings for gift certificates from Walmart, the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness, Mom 365 and the Richmond County Health Department; a massage from First Choice Chiropractic; a manicure from Merle Norman; fruit baskets from Food Lion; and a portrait from Jimmy McDonald Photography.
There is no charge to attend the Richmond Memorial Hospital Pregnancy Fair, and light refreshments will be served. New as well as expectant parents are invited to attend. For more information on attending or being an exhibitor, call (910) 417-3735.
FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital is a division of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.