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

By Public Information

August 06, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 06, 2015

PROMOTING BREASTFEEDING ACCESS FOR WORKING MOMS FOCUS OF MONTH-LONG CAMPAIGN

PALM BEACH COUNTY - The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County is celebrating National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. This year’s theme-Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make it Work!-highlights the benefits for mothers and babies reaching consistent breastfeeding goals. With support and education, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program will lead the way; supporting and celebrating breastfeeding mothers and peer counselors, providing breastfeeding training updates for the staff and community partners and facilitating group education sessions which will include testimonials from breastfeeding moms who have returned to work.

Back to work strategies to assist breastfeeding moms will be the focus at each of the six WIC sites throughout the month. Palm Beach County is also working to promote breastfeeding as a vital health activity and encourage breastfeeding-friendly hospitals, work places and communities.

With support from the Healthiest Weight Florida Initiative, Lakeside Medical Center and Palms West Hospital are well on their way with implementing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding to become recognized by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and the Quest for Quality Maternity Care Award.

“Pumping at work for my little one made me feel very proud. The feeling it gave me at the end of each day to take milk home for the sitter was indescribable.”–Shantal Martin, Nutrition Educator

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 activities occurring at the WIC sites include:

  • August 4-28--A bulletin board contest, wherein the WIC program staff will be promoting the theme Breastfeeding and Work-“Let’s Make It Work.”
  • August 12--A celebration for the Breastfeeding Peer Counselors to acknowledge the importance of their work and successes at the Greenacres WIC Center..
  • August 17-20--Breastfeeding classes to include testimonials and breastfeeding tips from working women on their successes.
  • August 24-28--Presentations on back to work strategies for breastfeeding moms on how to plan, prepare, and pump. Demonstrations to include how to make a “hands free” pumping bra.
  • August 31--Bulletin board contest winners notified.

Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County encourages exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months. It takes time and practice to learn how to breastfeed, both for mother and baby, and to establish a good milk supply. 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.

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