WIC Promotes Breastfeeding Support throughout the Community
August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), an annual celebration of breastfeeding to increase breastfeeding awareness to improve the health of mothers and babies. This year’s World theme is Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. This theme aims to highlight the important and lasting impacts breastfeeding has on our families and communities.
The foundation and growth of breastfeeding success starts with mom, baby and her breastfeeding support system. It is important to support mom by ensuring she has information, well-being and confidence. Breastfeeding is the foundation of life by its impact on:
Building Health – To receive the most health benefits, breastfeed for at least one year.
Building Well-Being – You are enough.
Building a Brighter Future – Benefits that last.
The above focus points were adapted from the 2018 World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) WBW materials to relate more to Coloradans with a goal of promoting the importance of breastfeeding support within a community. An individual’s breastfeeding success involves finding support from all different areas in the community. It is important to help moms find support systems specific to their situation.
Breastfeeding support can be found in seven key areas throughout Colorado communities, including:
Community resources (LLL, COBFC, public spaces, etc.)
Work and school
Child care professionals
Family and friends
Breastfeeding significantly impacts the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies, both in the short and long term. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests breastfeeding for at least one year due to numerous health benefits to mom and baby. Studies show that breastfed infants are less likely to develop ear infections, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, some childhood cancers and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and less likely to become obese later in life and compared to formula fed infants.
Breastfeeding not only directly impacts the health of the family, but also has an impact on the health of the entire community and the world. Breastfeeding is a low cost way of feeding babies, helping to reduce poverty and prevent hunger, undernutrition and obesity.
The health benefits of breastfeeding only increase as breastfeeding exclusivity and duration increase. The Colorado Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides breastfeeding education and support to Colorado families. WIC supports low-income mothers by providing highly nutritious food packages purchased at participating grocery stores, free access to breastfeeding information and counseling, breast pumps, community resources and referrals, and mom-to-mom support through the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program.
How can you get involved? Visit WABA’s site at www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org or www.breastfeedcolorado.com under Campaigns for more details, including an idea action packet with free materials. Help to promote breastfeeding by supporting moms in public, in the workplace and in child care.
Join the nation and world in celebrating and promoting breastfeeding during WBW and the entire month of August!