Every year since 2001, moms and dads from the free breastfeeding support group at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center reunite to celebrate Halloween and the benefits of breastfeeding by trick-or-treating around the hospital.
Organized by the hospital’s Women’s and Infants’ Services Department, the event seeks to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding is not only so good for baby, but it’s good for mom as well,” explains Kika Sandoval, CLC, CLE, CBE, lactation and childbirth educator at Sharp Chula Vista. “Breastmilk is easy to digest and provides all the nutrients, calories and fluids baby needs to be healthy, and for moms, it helps release hormones that make her feel more at ease with her baby.”
During the event, babies and parents don their Halloween best to go trick-or-treating throughout the hospital, receiving treats from Sharp Chula Vista doctors, nurses, volunteers and employees. Not only does it add Halloween cheer, but it also gives support group attendees another reason to meet with other parents to discuss breastfeeding challenges and wins, as well as a sense of community.
The breastfeeding support group meets every Tuesday and Thursday, and includes opportunities to:
- Practice proper breastfeeding positions and latching
- Learn breastfed-baby eating behaviors
- Ask questions with certified perinatal educators
“We always promote the importance of breastfeeding, but we know it comes with challenges that sometimes seem impossible to overcome,” says Sandoval. “That’s why our support groups play such an important role. We meet moms who feel alone with their breastfeeding struggles and are suddenly validated knowing they aren’t the only one facing these hurdles, and instead have an immediate community of moms and educators who are all there to help them and their baby.”