August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 07:38
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The evidence continues to make a clear case that breastfeeding has tremendous benefits for infants and their mothers, but still not all mothers who can breastfeed are doing so, while many stop too soon.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and the Douglas County Health Department wants to use this occasion to call attention to the benefits of the practice.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúLet there be no doubt,‚ÄĚ said Health Director Dr. Adi Pour. ‚ÄúBreastfeeding is good for mothers and their children.‚ÄĚ
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Studies have shown that children who are breast-fed are less likely to have ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, and other bacterial and viral infections, as well as contract a number of diseases later in life, including juvenile diabetes, heart disease and early cancers. Breastfeeding also improves¬†neurological development in the infant.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Breastfeeding also has many immediate benefits for mothers, including an earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight and reduced chances of the weight returning once weaning occurs.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† There also is the financial benefit of savings to the cost of buying formula ‚Äď and it‚Äôs always available.
Even when mothers start breast feeding, there can be a sharp decline in breastfeeding rates during the days and months following delivery. There are a number of programs available in Douglas County to support mothers who choose to breastfeed their infants with one being the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The WIC program provides breastfeeding education and support to its participants and 78 percent of the infants enrolled in the program in Douglas and Sarpy County breastfeed their infants for at least part of their early months.¬†
‚ÄúDay-to-day support for the breastfeeding mother within her home and the community is the key to seeing that best breastfeeding practices continue," Dr. Pour said.