BREASTFEEDING: Foundation of Life

In a world filled with inequality, crises and poverty, breastfeeding is the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers. With no additional burden on household income, breastfeeding is a low-cost way of feeding babies and contributes to poverty reduction. Breastfeeding prevents hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, and ensures food security for babies, even in times of crises.

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Michigan. In order to promote early breastfeeding success and breastfeeding outcomes, the Michigan Breastfeeding Network has announced a statewide initiative to provide continuity of care for mothers and babies. Supporters of this effort include hospitals, WIC agencies, community stakeholders, coalitions, physicians, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD). According to Laurel McCamman, at the Barry-Eaton District Health Department with the WIC Program, this collaboration could lead to higher breastfeeding initiation and duration rates, healthier babies, and closer families.

In his Breastfeeding Awareness Month Proclamation, Governor Snyder stated that Michigan is committed to reducing infant mortality and increasing the health of mothers and babies. Sustained breastfeeding support, education, and consistent, accurate information will help to meet these goals.

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department encourages mothers and others who support breastfeeding to stop by the Barry County Baby Café. The café is an informal breastfeeding club where mothers can connect. One-on-one help from specially trained health professionals is available, including professional lactation support and peer counselors from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

The Barry County Baby Café meets weekly on the second floor of the Hastings Public Library from 10am – 12noon every Thursday. New, pregnant, breastfeeding and/or experienced mothers are encouraged to attend. Older siblings are always welcome, and light refreshments are always provided. For more information about this Baby Café, please call (517) 541-2624 or follow on Facebook @BarryCountyBabyCafe.

The Capital Area Baby Café meets weekly at the Pennway Church of God at 1101 E. Cavanaugh in Lansing from 10am-12noon every Wednesday. For more information about this Baby Café, please call (517)337-7365 or follow on Facebook @CapitalAreaBabyCafe.

For more information about WIC services for Barry and Eaton residents, call the BEDHD Eaton office at (517) 541-2630 or the BEDHD Barry office at (269) 945-9516.

Article posted on August 9th, 2018.