West Boca Medical Center (21644 State Road 7, Boca Raton) has launched a new maternity education program.

The three-class series begins the first Tuesday evening of every month, with one class per week. Expectant parents should try to complete the series a month to six weeks before their baby’s due date.

Cost for the series is $75 for two people. Session one covers what to expect before the delivery. Nurses guide attendees through preparing to go to the hospital through the stages of labor. Session two prepares parents for what to expect right after childbirth. In session three, West Boca Medical Center lactation nurses cover infant nutrition. To register, call 866-904-9262.

For some quick-hitters, read the following advice from West Boca Medical Center’s newborn nursery nurses Bridgette Guzzi and Elizabeth Blake. They shared their thoughts about what new moms need to know about breastfeeding and building a strong immune system for their babies through nutrition.

From Guzzi's desk:

  • Breast milk is always readily available, fresh from the tap with no throw-away containers to worry about (saving the environment). And it tastes better than formula.

  • Breast milk contains your baby’s first immunizations and aids in the development of baby’s immune system. Formula does not do this.

  • [Breastfeeding is] cost effective. Why buy cow’s milk when breast milk is free? You save about $1,200 to $1,500 in the first year. (Think about that Coach or LV bag you could buy.)

  • Good news for Mom: mothers who breastfeed more than six months weigh about 3 pounds less than those who do not breastfeed.

  • More good news for mom: Studies suggest that breastfeeding decreases risks for some types of cancer

  • Cow’s milk is designed for cows. Breast milk is specifically designed for human babies, which promotes natural growth and builds brain development.

  • Breastfeeding promotes strong maternal and infant bonding, which is calming for both mom and baby.

  • You fed and nurtured your infant for nine months before birth … now you can burn up to 500 extra calories per day as you continue to nurture through breastfeeding.

From Blake's desk:

  • “Breast is best.” It's the perfect nutrition for the baby right from the first magic hour after birth through, hopefully, the first two years of life. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.

  • The mother can breastfeed any time and any place. No prep needed with bottles and storage issues.

  • Breastfeeding ensures the health and nutritional status of women throughout their lives by giving them extra benefits to prevent osteoporosis and breast cancer.

More maternity news…

South Florida Parenting Magazine readers have named Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Toppel Family Place the best maternity hospital in Palm Beach County. This marks the seventh time Toppel Family Place has been selected by the South Florida Parenting Kids Crown Awards for this honor.

Toppel Family Place features elegantly decorated and home-like labor and delivery suites, lactation services, a level II neonatal intensive care unit, board-certified neonatologists available 24 hours a day and family support groups. According to the website, the same nurses care for mother and baby on each shift, and most of that care takes place by the mother’s side. For more information, go to: http://www.brrh.com/Maternity.aspx?LinkId=1315. Boca Raton Regional Hospital is located at 800 Meadows Road, Boca Raton.

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About Lisette
Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on www.wordscomealive.com.