Families in Sarasota County will be able to continue to receive free, professional breastfeeding support thanks to the generosity of the Junior League of Sarasota.
Sarasota, FL – The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc. was recently awarded a $2,500 grant from the Junior League of Sarasota to fund postpartum breastfeeding support for moms at-risk for early breastfeeding cessation.
The first few days after a baby is born are crucial in establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship. For moms who are struggling, one visit from a Lactation Support Provider can mean the difference between continuing to breastfeed and giving up entirely. Due to statewide changes in Healthy Start’s contracts and the resulting cut in funding to breastfeeding services, we’ve had challenges funding this vital service. Thanks to support from community organizations, like the Junior League of Sarasota, we can continue to help moms and babies in need of a little extra support.
Breastfeeding is one of the most important steps a new mom can take to provide optimal nutrition to her newborn, as well as to protect against SIDS and illnesses such as stomach viruses, respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and lifelong chronic health conditions. Breastfeeding also has numerous benefits for the mother, including a lowered risk of postpartum depression, postpartum blood loss, and breast and ovarian cancers.
Many moms fall through the cracks after they leave the hospital or birthing center because they are unable to seek support due to postpartum medical restrictions or other challenges. Healthy Start fills this gap and provides support and resources for moms to establish a strong breastfeeding relationship.
“The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County is grateful to the Junior League of Sarasota for this grant,” says Executive Director, Shon Ewens. “By investing in the nutrition of our most vulnerable community members, we are giving them a healthy start and improving the health and well-being of our community as a whole.”
The Healthy Start Program provides services to over 2,000 moms and babies each year in Sarasota County; almost 600 of those moms received one-on-one specialized breastfeeding support. Other services provided by the program include case coordination, education, referrals for specialized services, and more. All services provided by Healthy Start are free, confidential, and professional. For more information about the program and all other Healthy Start Coalition services, please visit healthystartsarasota.org or contact the Executive Director, Shon Ewens, at 941-373-7070 ext. 301 or at Shon.Ewens@healthystartsarasota.org.