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August 2008 News News page Archive
August Marks World Breastfeeding Week and Breastfeeding Awareness Month!

August 1-7, 2008 is World Breastfeeding Week, and this year’s theme is Mother Support: Going for the GoldThis year’s theme corresponds with the August Olympic games, and allows the Ohio Department of Health to thank those state and local institutions who support breastfeeding.  Mothers are just like Olympic athletes, they face challenges, and always need support from family and friends and those around them.  Mothers face problems such as misinformation, working outside the home while still breastfeeding and the ability to not second guess their ability to breastfeed their baby.  Mothers always need the support from those around them and their community to feel comfortable to breastfeed their child in a public place.

The health benefits that come from breastfeeding far outweigh formula fed infants.  “These benefits include: a 20-30 percent reduced risk of obesity, a reduced risk of SIDS, fewer ear and respiratory infections, a reduced risk of developing juvenile and type 2 diabetes and an average increase of six points in IQ at age 6 1/2 ,” According to ODH Director Alvin D. Jackson, M.D.  He also states that the health benefits for breastfeeding mothers are important.  Mothers who breastfeed are, “at a 24 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer, a lower risk of developing osteoporosis later in life, and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

Another great benefit to breastfeeding an infant is the economic benefits.  With the rising cost of fuel and food, a family can save around $800 per year breastfeeding, and greatly decreased health care costs as well. Society should also encourage their mothers to breastfeed because the health benefits for society include decreased energy used to process formula, and less landfill use to dispose of container waste!

The state of Ohio ranks 44th in breastfeeding initiation rates of 59.6 percent as reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued in April 2008.  Governor Strickland is greatly urging everyone to encourage and support mothers to breastfeed.  Here are some ways that family members and society can support a breastfeeding mother:

Discuss breastfeeding early in a pregnancy

Educate the family about why it is important to breastfeed and how to support the mother’s decision to breastfeed

Educate health care providers on how to support breastfeeding

Create breastfeeding coalitions to advocate for legislation that supports breastfeeding

Encourage employers to support their breastfeeding employees

Work with disaster preparedness organizations to support safe infant feeding

Ask the media to promote breastfeeding as a norm

For more information about breastfeeding please contact the Help Me Grow Hotline at 1-800-755-GROW, or for Washington County Health Services (740) 374-8501 or Morgan County at (740)962-5266.

Washington-Morgan Community Action Washington and Morgan Counties, Ohio

218 Putnam Street, Marietta, OH 45750 (740) 373-3745
50 W. Third Street, PO Box 398, Malta, OH 43758
(740) 962-3827