This Week, Hospitals Emphasize Breastfeeding

Kathryn Fanto's son, Connor, was born July 31.
TAMPA (2010-8-2) -

This week marks the 20th anniversary of a week celebrating breastfeeding. At St. Joseph's Women's Hospital in Tampa, the staff is raising awareness with everything from cakes to a poster contest.

Kathryn Fanto is among the new moms trying to breastfeed. On July 31, she gave birth to her first child, Connor. Fanto says breastfeeding is harder than she'd thought. It's been tough getting Connor to stay awake long enough to feed. But Fanto is not giving up.

"It just was never even an option for me not to try to breastfeed," she said.

Fanto wants her son to reap the health benefits experts say come with breastfeeding, like immunity to infections. Lactation consultant Bobbi Taman helps new moms get the hang of it. She says is usually harder than they expect.

"The biggest surprise for new mothers is the amount of time that you're going to spend with breastfeeding," Taman said. "I tell moms it's their 10th month of pregnancy."

Some women prefer to save time and control their baby's food supply by bottle feeding.

Taman encourages new moms to call the St. Joseph's Women's Hospital lactation helpline at (813) 872-3932. To hear a Q&A with Taman about the benefits and challenges of breastfeeding, click here.

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