Health Department Promotes World Breastfeeding Week

Tue August 1, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DUPAGE COUNTY-The DuPage County Health Department will celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, with the theme "Sustaining Breastfeeding Together," to remind residents that breastfeeding is the normal and expected way to feed all babies, with numerous benefits to both babies and mothers.

"An important goal to achieve optimal health in our communities is through encouragement and support of breastfeeding," said Karen Ayala, Health Department Executive Director.

Health experts around the world recommend exclusive breastfeeding (nothing but breast milk) for six months and continued breastfeeding after a baby begins solid food up to age one or two. Human milk is full of antibodies that help protect babies from many diseases, including ear infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, allergies, leukemia and diabetes. Breastfeeding can even help the baby's mother by reducing her risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

"DuPage County families enrolled in the W.I.C. (Women, Infant and Children's Supplemental Nutrition) Program are invited to seek the support, education and encouragement of our highly trained and credentialed staff members," Ayala said.

As part of The Healthy People 2020 Breastfeeding Goals for the Nation, Illinois continues to work with community partners to increase breastfeeding at three months to 46% and to increase the number of babies born at hospitals that provide recommended care for breastfeeding moms and their babies.

Statistics for the DuPage County Health Department's WIC Program reveal that 87% of pregnant women enrolled in the local WIC program initiate breastfeeding and 41% are still breastfeeding at 6 months.

Three International Board Certified Lactation Specialist and three Breastfeeding Peer Counselors are on staff at the DuPage County WIC offices as well as Certified Health Professionals trained to provide breastfeeding support. To apply for WIC services please call (630) 682-7400.

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