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St. Catherine of Siena Empowers Mothers during World Breastfeeding Week—August 1-7, 2019

August 2, 2019

Smithtown, NY—Mothers, expectant mothers, fathers and families, across the globe joined in for a symbolic celebration on August 1—the officially start of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). WBW week is celebrated internationally, from August 1-7, due to the foundational support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. The day commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed August 1990 by world leaders, all with the same goal, to protect promote and support breastfeeding.

The 2019 WBW theme is to, “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”. In support of the global event, St. Catherine of Siena joined Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the Office of Women’s Services/The Suffolk County Breastfeeding Coalition, at the 10th Annual Global BIG Latch On. The event, held on Thursday, August 01, 2019, at the Dennison Building in Hauppauge, was attended by health organizations across the island, and as a designated Baby-Friendly Hospital—St. Catherine of Siena was proud to support the global event.

St. Catherine of Siena is the first and only hospital in Suffolk County to earn the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation. The designation signifies the hospital’s commitment to provide superior support to mothers and their newborns, and to ensure their success with breastfeeding—the most optimal nutrition for newborns.  

“A common question that concerns new mothers and families tends to be—is my baby getting enough to eat,” said St. Catherine of Siena’s Lactation/Perinatal Education Clinical Nurse Specialist Kristin Thayer, MSN, RNC, IBCLC. As a lactation expert, Thayer is readily available for new parents to help ease their concern, not only with education but with pre and post support.

“A full term healthy newborn is born with enough reserves so that they do not need to eat very much in the first few days of life—their stomachs are actually very small and are only meant to eat about 5 ml (or 1 teaspoon) at a feeding, which is why they need to eat often, usually 81-12 times per day,” said Thayer.

It is essential for expectant mothers, new mothers and families to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding, and to be informed about the best tips to be successful with lactation. Thayer provides a completeWell-Fed Baby” Checklist on St. Catherine of Siena’s website, which is available to download. The checklist is extremely helpful to address likely concerns and questions parents may have, especially during the first week of welcoming a newborn, five to seven days old.

There are many lactation resources available for new mothers should they run into trouble, the key is to seek support. St. Catherine of Siena provides several free pre and post lactation support groups. The hospital is a partner in the WHO’s commitment to create communities that not only empower parents, but enable breastfeeding with appropriate support during the celebratory week and all year long.

For more information about free support groups, please call (631) 870-3444 or visit