ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County is highlighting the importance of breastfeeding during National Breastfeeding Month. Breastfeeding plays a critical role in healthy development from the very beginning of a child’s life.
Community Program Manager of the Alachua Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Program Diana Duque stated, “Breastfeeding not only promotes a unique, beautiful and necessary bond between a mom and her baby but it helps mom’s body recover after birth, and it provides nutrition and antibodies to help her baby avoid illness and allergies.”
Breast milk contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses. 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.
Earlier this year, the department launched the Florida Healthy Babies initiative and has invested nearly two million dollars in helping hospitals around the state promote “Baby Steps to Baby Friendly” in order to support mothers in practicing exclusive breastfeeding for their infants.
The Florida Healthy Babies initiative in Alachua County hosted a Town Hall Meeting in May and a follow-up community meeting is scheduled for September 7, 2016, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. To attend, send an RSVP to Pamela.Lambert@flhealth.gov.
For more information about the Florida WIC program call 1-800-342-3556 or visit the Florida WIC Program website. To learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding visit the La Leche League website or the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition website.
For more information about Baby Steps to Baby Friendly visit the Florida Healthiest Weight website.
For resources on breastfeeding and print outs for working moms, visit this activity website.
For more information, contact Diana Duque at 352-225-4355.