The Norwalk Health Department recognizes World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, and encourages mothers to learn more about breastfeeding and urges other members of the community to support families in their breastfeeding goals. The theme, “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life” acknowledges that when mothers and babies succeed in their breastfeeding plans, they can enjoy a lifetime of benefits.
Research shows that babies who receive only breast milk for the first 6 months of life are less likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, obesity, and respiratory illnesses. Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding with a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers.
However, exclusive breastfeeding can be challenging, and mothers need a team of helpers and healthcare professionals to support them so they can achieve their goals. This breastfeeding team can include family, friends, physicians, nurses, midwives, employers, and childcare providers. Together, the breastfeeding team provides information to boost confidence, protects mothers against critics, gives reassurance, and lends a hand to help breastfeeding mothers succeed. Team members with special skills and knowledge about breastfeeding, such as a peer counselor or lactation consultants, are especially helpful.
The Norwalk Health Department educates, encourages, and supports mothers in their breastfeeding goals through the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program and various outreach efforts. To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, the department has an educational display and take-home materials available in our lobby.
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) coordinates World Breastfeeding Week. For more information, visit www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org.