Health Department Promotes World Breastfeeding Week

Wed August 1, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DUPAGE COUNTY- World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, and the DuPage County Health Department will celebrate with the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) theme "Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life."

This year's theme focuses on promoting breastfeeding as a foundation for lifelong health by informing people about the links between good nutrition and a means of food security for infants. With no additional burden on the household income, breastfeeding is a low-cost way of feeding babies and contributing to lifelong health. You can find more information at www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org.

"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 Women, Infant and Children's Supplemental Nutrition (WIC) Program are invited to seek the support, education and encouragement of our highly trained and credentialed staff members.

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 46.2 percent, and the number of babies born at hospitals that provide recommended care for breastfeeding moms and their babies. The establishment of the Human Donor Milk Bank and local depots across the state ensures all infant have access to breastmilk.

Rates for the DuPage County WIC program are double the Statewide averages, standing at 18 percent of breastfeeding mothers are exclusively breastfeeding at 12 weeks and 37 percent are still breastfeeding at six months.

Six International Board-Certified Lactation Specialists and five 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, DuPage County residents may call (630) 682-7400.

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