Apalachicola, FL - This August, the Florida Department of Health in Franklin County is celebrating National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Franklin County is working to promote breastfeeding as a vital health activity and encourage breastfeeding-friendly work places and communities.
“Breastfeeding offers many benefits to your baby. Breast milk contains a proper balance of nutrients to help your infant grow into a strong and healthy toddler,” said Marsha Lindeman, Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Franklin and Gulf counties. “Our goal during the month-long campaign is to increase awareness of breastfeeding support services available for mothers.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mothers who breastfeed their children are at a healthier weight on average than those who do not. They also have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer. Children who are breastfed have a lower risk for developing respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, asthma, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
During the month of August, DOH-Franklin will be partnering with the Leon County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, which serves Franklin County participants, on a variety of activities to increase awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding. Activities include creating a newly designed breastfeeding room at the health department for employees and patients as well as disseminating breastfeeding topics each week to the public.
To reach the goal of exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months, mothers need supportive maternity leave policies, flexible work hours, infant and child-care at or near the workplace, and private facilities for expressing and storing breastmilk. It takes time and practice to learn how to breastfeed, both for mother and baby, and to establish a good milk supply.