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Promoting Breastfeeding Access for Working Moms Focus of Month-Long Campaign

By Kerry S. Waldron, Administrator

July 31, 2015

MAYO — This August, the Florida Department of Health in Lafayette County is celebrating National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. By having a “Breastfeeding Back to Work” promotion at a community event, a blast email to community partners, and a public press release, Lafayette County is working to promote breastfeeding as a vital health activity and encourage breastfeeding-friendly work places and communities.

“Our objective is to encourage and facilitate healthy lifestyles. During the early months of an infant’s beginning, proper feeding and nutrition is critical for the developmental stages. By breast feeding, babies have a lower risk for developing certain conditions including respiratory concerns, stomach viruses, weight issues, and other chronic diseases,” said Kerry S. Waldron, Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Lafayette County.

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).

The “Breastfeeding Back to Work” promotion will take place at the Back to School Bash at the Suwannee County High School on August 8th. There will be information displayed to show the benefits of breast milk compared to formula. There will also be a person from the Healthy Start Program on site to answer any questions concerning breastfeeding. Also, a blast email concerning breast feeding at the workplace will be sent to all community partners to educate and utilize as needed. If you are a business, we hope that this press release will encourage you to create a breastfeeding policy for employees for a breastfeeding friendly work place.

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.

For more information on the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition's Quality Maternity Care Initiative, visit: http://flbreastfeeding.org/hospital.htm.

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Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses and entire communities to help Florida's children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living. To learn more about how to be active and make nutritious food choices visit www.healthiestweightflorida.com.

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

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