Supporting breastfeeding moms

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The first week of August is known as World Breastfeeding Week.

Breast milk is considered to be nature's perfect food, but the process of breastfeeding can be overwhelming for new mothers.

Allyson Michaels, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, says supporting breastfeeding moms is empowering and important.

"Out in the community, you see a woman breastfeeding on the street, she's sitting down on a park bench, maybe she could use something to drink," she said. "Tell her 'good job. Congratulations on your baby.'"

But support for breastfeeding goes beyond the mother.

"Supporting a breastfeeding mother means supporting the whole family," said Michaels. "Go over and babysit. Come with the food. Go grocery shopping. Anything small like that so the family can rest helps a mother."

Breastfeeding is hardest on the mom, and Michaels has some words of encouragement for nursing mothers.

"Your worth is not measured in ounces. As a new mom, your breasts are there to provide comfort too," she said. "Don't worry if you don't make as much milk as somebody else."

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