August is World Breastfeeding Awareness Month and the County of Lake Public Health Dept. and Maternal Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH) Program are excited to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding, and how the community can best support moms. This year’s theme is, “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding, Now and for the Future!” The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action seeks to inform, anchor, engage and galvanize the public to support breastfeeding mothers and their developing children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of solid foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby. Breastmilk provides essential nutrients and antibodies that boost an infant's immune system, protecting from childhood illnesses. Babies who are not breastfed are more likely to develop common childhood illnesses, like ear infections and diarrhea, as well as chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, and childhood obesity.
The MCAH Program, in collaboration with the Lake County Breastfeeding Coalition, will be promoting World Breastfeeding Month by providing the Breastfeeding Comfort Station, including information and literature on the benefits of breastfeeding, at the local Farmers Markets August 3rd and August 6th, as well as at the Lakeport National Night Out event on August 6th.
The MCAH Program also has a Lactation Accommodation Policy toolkit available to assist employers in ensuring they are, at minimum, meeting the regulations on providing women appropriate time and space for lactation. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against someone who is breastfeeding (Government Code 12926), and employees must receive a reasonable amount of break time to express milk (Labor Code Section 1030-1033). Agencies can obtain the toolkit by contacting the County of Lake Public Health Department’s Public Health Division, at 707-263-1090.
Everyone has a role to play in ensuring a healthier, more prosperous and sustainable future. How will you celebrate World Breastfeeding Month? Use hashtags #WBW2019 and #CABreastfeeds to show how you will be celebrating this year on social media.
For more information about National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, World Breastfeeding Week and Black Breastfeeding Week, visit http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/NBM,
https://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/ and http://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/