MADISON, AL (WAFF) - There are many benefits to breastfeeding a new born child. The primary advantage has to do with protection from stomach viruses, ear infections and respiratory illnesses and many allergies.
A large study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences indicates a 20 percent lower risk of a child dying between the ages of 28 days and one year. That's why instruction opportunities like the lactation class at Madison Hospital can be so beneficial for moms and their babies.
Clare Price is one participant. She is mother to 3-month-old Ronan.
"It's been a lot of help to us," she said. "I really think that if we had not been coming to this class that I wouldn't still be nursing."
Lactation experts said there's a lot for new mothers to learn. They said support groups like this are crucial for success.
R.N. Kristine Taff is a board-certified lactation expert. "We weigh the babies and ensure that they're growing appropriately just to fuel them on and keep them going," she said.
Each mom and baby have specific needs - some unique to them, like in the case of Laceine Hartson. "We have had our own tribulations throughout our process, too."
Price said its great, and encourages other mothers to experience the program.
"Come ask your questions and get help," she said. "It's definitely been a benefit to us."
Hartson said the nurses will break down any problems. "Coming in here and being able to have the lactation consultants and having the other moms give their input on what our particular situation is has been very helpful to us and it's our favorite time of the week."
These women are learning lessons which will help them for future children as well.