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 http://www.mibreastfeeding.org/. 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.