Breastfeeding is an important aspect of infant care that offers a multitude of benefits to both the mother and the baby. It provides vital nutrients, strengthens the baby’s immune system, and fosters a strong emotional bond between mother and child. However, despite its many advantages, breastfeeding can be challenging for mothers and their babies. This is where breastfeeding support from Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline comes in.
“When a mom calls the Birth to Five Helpline with a question regarding breastfeeding her baby, first we listen. We listen to understand. And offer support. There may be many things influencing her question or worry and many ways to be helpful. We take the time the mom needs to get the support she is looking for,” said Ana Arbel, Senior Program Manager at Birth to Five Helpline & Fussy Baby.
With support from First Things First, the Governor’s Office and other community partners, the Birth to Five Helpline (877-705-KIDS), which was started by Southwest Human Development in 2005, allows Arizona parents, caregivers and professionals to call, text or email a Birth to Five Helpline early childhood specialist for support around a variety of early childhood issues including breastfeeding.
The Birth to Five Helpline aims to provide mothers with the resources and assistance they need to overcome any difficulties they may face when breastfeeding their baby. Staff members can offer a wide range of services, from providing guidance on breastfeeding techniques to offering emotional support and information on community resources.
The Birth to Five Helpline is staffed by experienced professionals who specialize in early childhood development. The service is free for Arizona families. The Helpline provides mothers with the support, information and guidance they need to make informed decisions about breastfeeding, overcome some of the difficulties they may encounter and increase the enjoyment of the breastfeeding experience for mom and baby.
Among its health benefits, breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of ear infections, respiratory illnesses, asthma, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It has also been linked to a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, and heart disease in mothers.
Breastfeeding can also have important positive emotional effects for both mother and child. It can promote the mother-infant relationship and create a sense of comfort and security for the baby. It can boost mothers’ self-esteem and sense of calm and can help reduce the risk of postpartum depression.
Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline is an invaluable service which offers families support, collaborative problem-solving, and resources beyond concerns about breastfeeding. Helpline specialists can assist with a range of child development and parenting topics, such as infant fussiness/colic, challenging child behaviors, sleep schedules, difficulties in childcare or preschool, and the host of childrearing dilemmas that parents face.
For questions or to learn more about the Birth to Five Helpline, call or text (877) 705-KIDS (5437) or visit birthtofivehelpline.org