An Interview With Our Lactessa™
August is National Breastfeeding Month and August 1–7 is World Breastfeeding Week, making August a great time to promote breastfeeding and its many benefits for babies, mothers, and families.
In recognition of National Breastfeeding Month and World Breastfeeding Week, we thought it would be a great time to interview our classic Lactessa Breastfeeding Model, who is back by popular demand after taking some well-deserved time off. Of course, Lactessa can’t actually talk, but she does speak volumes as an invaluable breastfeeding teaching tool and demonstration model for newborn care techniques.
Childbirth Graphics: Welcome back, Lactessa! We’ve missed you! Tell us, what have you been up to on your break?
Lactessa: Thanks! It’s so nice to be here. You know, during my time off, I had considered doing some traveling with my pal Ron, the garden gnome, and seeing the world. But, the truth is, I’m always seeing the world, traveling across the globe and helping expectant and new mothers everywhere I go, whether in classrooms or during one-on-one instruction provided by dedicated and caring lactation consultants, so there’s really no need for extra travel. I’ve used my time wisely, keeping up with the latest in breastfeeding education, so I’m so excited to be back!
Childbirth Graphics: Tell us, Lactessa, why do you think breastfeeding is the optimal way to nourish babies?
Lactessa: I’m so glad you asked; I simply can’t say enough about why breastfeeding is best for babies! I mean, breastmilk has just the right amounts of what a baby needs to grow healthy and strong, and it changes to meet a growing baby’s needs. It’s easier for most babies to digest compared with formula, so it’s less likely to cause digestive problems, such as diarrhea and constipation. Then, there are so many health benefits! Breastfeeding contains antibodies to help protect a baby from many illnesses, so breastfed babies tend to have fewer respiratory infections, stomach viruses, and ear infections compared with formula-fed infants. Breastfeeding promotes proper jaw development and healthy teeth, and it may help protect against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and childhood obesity. Breastfeeding may even enhance a baby’s brain development. Plus, breastfeeding provides a wonderful physical closeness with mom, creating a special bond between mother and baby!
Childbirth Graphics: Speaking of mothers, do you think breastfeeding is best for moms, too?
Lactessa: You bet I do! In addition to that wonderful mother/baby bonding that breastfeeding provides, breastfeeding is simply fantastic for moms. First, there’s the convenience of breastmilk; it’s always available and ready to serve. You never have to buy or prepare formula or take bottles with you. Then, there’s the fact that breastmilk is always fresh, so you don’t have to sterilize bottles or nipples. Your baby may be ill less often, so you are less likely to miss work or have extra healthcare appointments for your baby. Moms also receive health benefits from breastfeeding. Breastfeeding helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size more quickly, and it may decrease the risk of postpartum depression. Plus, it can reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and some types of breast cancer. Again, I just could go on and on about why I love breastfeeding!
Childbirth Graphics: Lactessa, what can you tell us about your work in breastfeeding education?
Lactessa: First and foremost, I just love lactation education. Honestly, I was literally made for it!
Childbirth Graphics: So, do you see yourself as a partner with breastfeeding educators?
Lactessa: Oh, absolutely! I mean, I need them to fulfill my true purpose, which is to enhance their breastfeeding education goals. When breastfeeding educators and their clients hold me, I feel like a real baby because my soft, flexible body and head are actually weighted to feel like a newborn. My movable arms, legs, and head allow realistic demonstration and practice of breastfeeding positions, but I need my breastfeeding educators to demonstrate those positions with me. So yes, I am incredibly indebted to the childbirth educators who partner with me!
Childbirth Graphics: Your mouth seems uniquely designed for breastfeeding education. What can you tell us about it?
Lactessa: So glad you noticed, because my mouth is specially designed for breastfeeding education. I actually think it’s one of my best features! I have a three-dimensional, open mouth and a cupped tongue, which is deep enough for breastfeeding educators to insert a finger to teach suck training with accuracy and feel the hard palate. Using me with the Cloth Breast Model (available in beige beige or brown) is ideal to teach about the rooting reflex, latching on, proper tongue and mouth positioning, and ending a feeding. I’m also great to demonstrate special techniques, such as suck training and finger feeding.
Childbirth Graphics: Wow, Lactessa, you sound so versatile!
Lactessa: You know, I really am versatile! I’m also great to demonstrate burping techniques, how to wake a sleeping baby, or ways to breastfeed discreetly. And, I also love being used to demonstrate basic infant care, such as back sleeping, swaddling, or how to change a diaper.
Childbirth Graphics: Lactessa, what’s the biggest misconception people have about you?
Lactessa: Oh, you know … People look at me and they just see me as a baby. But, the truth is, I’m a time-tested Childbirth Graphics customer classic! I’ve actually been a fixture in breastfeeding education for many, many years. You could pick up a Childbirth Graphics catalog back from the 1990s and there I’d be, ready to help educate about breastfeeding, just like I am today!
Childbirth Graphics: Wow, Lactessa, thank you for your time! It’s so great to have you back! We’ve really appreciated having you here to celebrate National Breastfeeding Month and World Breastfeeding Week.
Lactessa: Thank you so much for having me! I want everyone to know that I’m available, along with many other great Childbirth Graphics lactation education resources, in our product section dedicated to breastfeeding education materials. I look forward to working with you!
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