Breastfeeding in the Community

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated around the world each year during the first week of August to promote breastfeeding and highlight its importance to the health of mothers and babies. Breastfeeding promotes strong immune systems and protects against illness and infection. It guards against childhood obesity and diabetes and helps form a unique mother-baby bond. Educating families before babies are born and providing consistent, accessible support through the first year of life and beyond are keys to helping moms and babies develop strong feeding relationships and reach their breastfeeding goals.

In order to promote early breastfeeding success and breastfeeding outcomes, the Michigan Breastfeeding Network has announced a statewide initiative including hospitals, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) agencies, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), community stakeholders, coalitions, and The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) to provide continuity of care for mothers and babies. According to Laurel McCamman, RD and WIC Coordinator, this collaboration could lead to higher breastfeeding initiation and duration rates, healthier babies, and closer families.

According to Governor Snyder in his Breastfeeding Awareness Month Proclamation, Michigan is committed to reducing infant mortality and increasing the health of mothers and babies through education and support of breastfeeding and collaboration between hospitals, businesses, community agencies, and coalitions and health care providers to provide consistent and accurate information.

Locally, BEDHD is joining in on the celebration by promoting the WIC program. WIC promotes breastfeeding as the optimal choice for moms who are medically able. WIC supports breastfeeding moms through counseling and educational materials, peer counselors, a specially-tailored food package, and breastfeeding aids like breast pumps. If you would like more information about Michigan's breastfeeding initiatives, visit If you are wondering if you qualify for WIC, call the WIC office in Eaton County at 517-541-2630 or the Barry County office at 269-945-9516.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on August 1st 2017. - Article Permalink

National Immunization Awareness Month

Join the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) and communities around the nation in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month! This annual observance highlights the importance of vaccination for people of all ages, and it raises awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

Vaccine-preventable diseases may seem like threats from the past. However, the U.S. is seeing the return of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, whooping cough, and mumps, which had once been considered eliminated. "Individuals who do not receive the recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness. Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect yourself and others in the community from infectious diseases," says Jackie Anderson, Immunization Coordinator for the health department. Vaccination is the best defense again these serious diseases, and it's important to make sure you and your family are up to date and follow the recommended schedule.

August is a good time to make sure you and your family are up to date on vaccinations, as summer winds down and children head back to school. Getting vaccinated is an easy way to stay healthy all year round.

Talk to your doctor to find out which vaccines are recommended for you and your family. To find out what vaccines you may need, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Vaccine Quizzes at for adults or for children. To make a vaccination appointment at BEDHD, call (517) 541-2630 in Eaton County and (269) 798-4133 in Barry County.

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on August 1st 2017. - Article Permalink

ERMC to hold blood drive

Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC) is partnering with the American Red Cross to hold a blood drive on Monday, July 24, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the Main Conference Room of ERMC. Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood. Donating one pint of blood can save up to three lives.

Donors must be at least 17 years old or 16 with parental consent and weigh 110 pounds or more. Donors are also asked to bring identification and know the names of medications they are taking.

Eaton Rapids Medical Center is located at 1500 South Main Street in Eaton Rapids. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit, sponsor code ERMC. Walk-in donors are welcome.

Article posted on July 19th 2017. - Article Permalink

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