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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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National Breastfeeding Month

August 01, 2018

This August, the Florida Department of Health is celebrating National Breastfeeding Awareness month and World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 -7).  Both of these annual milestones highlight the benefits that breastfeeding can bring to both the health and welfare of babies, as well as a wider push for maternal health, focusing on good nutrition, poverty reduction and food security.

The theme for 2018 World Breastfeeding Week - Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life – focuses on promoting breastfeeding as a solution that levels the playing field - giving everyone a fair start in life. It improves the health, wellbeing and survival of women and children across Florida.

How to feed a new baby is one of the first important decisions a family has to make, and most women who choose to breastfeed have a specific goal in mind.

Research shows:

  • Breastfed infants have a reduced risk of infections, asthma, obesity and SIDS compared with formula-fed infants;
  • Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression compared to mothers who don't breastfeed; and
  • It's estimated that $13 billion in healthcare costs would be saved per year if 90 percent of U.S. infants were breastfed exclusively for six months.

The department is also working to promote breastfeeding as a vital health activity, and encourages breastfeeding-friendly hospitals, child care facilities, work places and communities.

The Florida Department of Health’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) offices in each county also offer resources and staff to help breastfeeding mothers. WIC offices may also have International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have a high level of specialized knowledge in breastfeeding to assist clients during their Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Programs. The trained peer counselors are chosen from the same socio/economic/ethnic groups as WIC clients and have successfully breastfed their own babies.  Breastfeeding counselors provide mother-to-mother basic breastfeeding education and support to pregnant and breastfeeding moms. WIC also supports breastfeeding through the breast pump loan program.

For more information about the Florida WIC program call 1-800-342-3556 or visit www.FloridaWIC.org. To learn more about National Breastfeeding Month and the benefits of breastfeeding visit www.usbreastfeeding.org, www.llli.org  or www.flbreastfeeding.org.