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Breastfeeding
Every woman's journey to motherhood is different, but one of the first decisions a new mom makes is how to feed her child.

When you choose to breastfeed, you make an investment in your baby's future. Breastfeeding allows you to make the food that is perfect for your baby. Your milk gives your baby the healthy start that will last a lifetime. Breastfeeding protects your baby, benefits your health, and can make your life easier.

WIC Breastfeeding Class in Tavernier

  • 2nd Monday of the month
  • 10:30 am
  • held at Monroe County Sheriff's Department, 50 High Point Rd, Tavernier
  • check in at the WIC office in the Health Department
  • For more information, call WIC at (305) 853-7402

WIC Breastfeeding Class in Marathon

  • 1st and 4th Thursday of the month
  • 1:30 pm
  • Ruth Ivins Center (Health Department) in Marathon
  • check in at the WIC office
  • For more information, call WIC at (305) 289-2708

WIC Breastfeeding Class in Key West

  • every Wednesday
  • 1:30 pm for English speakers
  • Gato Building, 1100 Simonton Street

                 OR

  • every Wednesday
  • 2:00 pm for Spanish speakers
  • Gato Building, 1100 Simonton Street

Call WIC at 305-809-5684 for information on any of the Key West groups/classes.  

Breastfeeding Support Groups in Key West

These groups offer assistance on breastfeeding and nutrition available from Breastfeeding Consultant Angelica Mendaros, each Wednesday.  Angelica speaks English and Spanish.

  • every Wednesday
  • 10:30am (English) at the Public Library
  • The Breastfeeding Support group meets during Toddler Story Time at the Key West Library.

               OR

  • every Wednesday
  • 5:30pm (Spanish) at Womankind
  • corner of Truman and Eisenhower

Newborn babies have a stepping/crawling reflex that enables them to crawl to the breast and suckle.  Dr. Lennart Righard studied two groups of babies to learn more about this reflex. His conclusion was that drugs given to mother during labor should be restricted and that newborn babies should be left undisturbed with their mother until they are ready for their first breastfeeding.  For more information, watch his six minute video "Delivery Self Attachment" online for $1.99.  Other breastfeeding crawl videos are available for free online as well, but this is the one we recommend.  

As always, discuss questions about this or any other concern with your health care provider.

The Affordable Care Act has made breastfeeding more accessible and affordable for women.  Unfortunately, many women are not aware that their insurer may cover breastfeeding supplies.  The National Women's Law Center has produced a booklet that explains, in general, what benefits may be available to breastfeeding women.  Click on the link below to read the booklet or download it to your computer.

Aaron Palazzolo of The South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association recently sent us the following email:

Great news! Nursing moms are getting a new tax break from the IRS for breast pumps and other supplies.

The same proposal was rejected in 2010 because the IRS didn’t think breastfeeding had enough benefits to be considered medical care. But the American Academy of Pediatrics and other breastfeeding advocates fought for the proposal, citing the many long-lasting health benefits of breast milk.

The IRS has changed their tune and will now allow mothers to count the cost of breast pumps and other supplies as a medical deduction. Breastfeeding mothers can spend as much as $1,000 per year on breastfeeding supplies, so this is a welcome tax break. See more info on the IRS website here. 

 

WomensHealth.gov has a great summary of how breastfeeding can benefit your baby and you.  

Other reliable online resources for breastfeeding moms include KellyMom and La Leche League.  At KellyMom their goal is to provide support & evidence-based information on breastfeeding, sleep and parenting. from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).  La Leche League's mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother. Each of these web sites also has an associated Facebook group. 

Right From the Start is a web site that discusses health before pregnancy, pregnancy weight gain, baby spacing, pre-term labor, stress during pregnancy, postpartum depression, coping with crying, and more.  The site lists local resources that can help you with these issues.

Ameda has manufactured breast pumps for over 70 years and they have breastfeeding resources on their web site. The breast pump was first developed to mimic a baby's natural nursing rhythm and intensity, Ameda used this innovative technology to create a breast pump that was simple, comfortable, and efficient. For more information on Ameda, visit the Ameda web site, the Ameda Facebook page, or Ameda's Twitter feed.

Ameda’s Breastfeeding Answer Sheets (Q&As) are two-sided tearsheets covering most common questions and concerns with breastfeeding and breast pumping.  You will also find, at the bottom of the page linked above, summaries of recent US federal government legislation that help make breastfeeding more accessible to mothers and babies. Included are coverage of breastfeeding services and supplies without cost-sharing under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the IRS ruling that breast pumps are a medical expense deduction.

According to the CDC web site, "Women and healthcare providers don’t have enough information to answer questions about medications and pregnancy. Treating for Two is CDC’s prescription for this problem. Treating for Two aims to improve the health of women and babies by working to identify the safest treatment options for the management of common conditions before and during pregnancy." Visit their web site for more information about medications during pregnancy.  

In addition, MotherToBaby, a service of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, is dedicated to providing evidence-based information to mothers, health care professionals, and the general public about medications and other exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Talk directly to the experts behind the most up-to-date research!

Their Resources tab is filled with great fact sheets on the effects of Medications, Herbal Products, Infections and Vaccines, Maternal Medical Conditions, Illicit Substances, and Other Common Exposures like alcohol and caffeine.  You can find them here.

FKHSC is not endorsing the services of any person in this list; we are merely sharing resources.

Alanna Dixon, MA, IBCLC, RLC
Upper Keys Lactation
850-510-2614
www.upperkeyslactation.com
facebook.com/upperkeyslactation

Faith Ploude, BA, IBCLC, RLC
The Family Collection
306-282-1975
www.familycollection.net

WIC Breastfeeding Program
Peer Counselor Coordinator
Florida Department of Health - Monroe
50 High Point Road
Tavernier, Florida 33070
305-853-7402

Healthy Start clients have access to breastfeeding support and resources through that program. Commercial grade breast pumps are available to the community at large, with the purchase of the breast pump kit, as pumps are available.  Call 305-809-5654 for more information.

Medela Recycles is a program focused on helping moms who have finished their breastfeeding journey help another mom start hers. Each pump received through Medela Recycles supports the donation of new hospital-grade, multi-use breastpumps and supplies to Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®). The goal is to provide moms with the same high-quality equipment they use at the hospital during their stay at a Ronald McDonald House.

Only Medela electric breastpumps are eligible for the Medela Recycles program. If you have another breastpump brand, please contact the manufacturer to discuss their disposal instructions.  Visit the Medela Recycles web site for more details.  

Traveling with children can be fun, but it can also be challenging.  We have put together a list of resources that you might find helpful.  Visit our Traveling with Children page for more information.

Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition Inc