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World Breastfeeding Week Celebrates 25 Years

Post Date:08/01/2017 8:30 a.m.

By: Kelly Nettnin, BC, CSAPC 

It is a known fact that breastfeeding aids the survival of infants and helps them thrive, has long-term health benefits for women, yields economic benefits and enhances the wellbeing of all.

However, many mothers are able to get off to a good start with breastfeeding, and in the weeks or months after delivery there is a sharp decline in breastfeeding. The period when mothers do not visit a healthcare facility is the time when a community support system for mothers is essential.

For these reasons and more, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has set aside August 1-7 each year to recognize the importance of breastfeeding. This year the group celebrates 25 years of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding worldwide.

Continued support to sustain breastfeeding can be provided in a variety of ways. In the past, support has been provided by the family. Now, support for mothers from a wider circle is needed and available, whether it is provided by trained health workers, doulas, lactation consultants, community leaders, or from friends who are also mothers, or from fathers and partners. Peer counselling is also a cost effective intervention for increasing exclusive and continued breastfeeding rates.

The Dare County Department of Health & Human Services (DCDHHS) supports breastfeeding year- round by providing services to the residents of Dare County. Our lactation educators and peer counselor provide breastfeeding information, offer assistance and support,  and have a variety of supplies, including breast pumps, for WIC program participants.

“We encourage individuals to recognize the role they can play in their personal or professional lives to support and promote breastfeeding practices,” commented Cathy Doyle, WIC Supervisor at DCDHHS,  “Understanding the importance of breastfeeding, engaging others, and working together is key to create an environment that supports breastfeeding as ‘best kind of feeding’ for mother and baby.”

For more information visit worldbreasfeedingweek.org or call 252.475.5068. The Dare County Department of Health & Human Services is an equal opportunity provider.

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