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World Breastfeeding Week

Health department offers information, support

PRINCETON — The Bureau/Putnam County Health Department is promoting the merits of breastfeeding infants in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week.

Laurie Geuther, director of nursing for the local health department, said the health department has two Certified Lactation Specialists on staff to help any mother who wants to breastfeed, even if they are not on the health department’s Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program.

To all WIC moms who are pregnant and express a desire or express interest in breastfeeding, the local health department has a packet of great educational information on breastfeeding, and the women can talk with the staff about breastfeeding at subsequent visits, Geuther said.

According to a press release issued by the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), this year’s theme of World Breastfeeding Week was developed by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and highlights the framework of the Millennium Development Goals for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. The goals were developed by the United Nations and other global partners with the goal of reducing extreme poverty and providing people lives of dignity in every nation by 2015.

ILCA President Decalie Brown said mothers need a team of helpers and healthcare professionals to support them in their breastfeeding efforts. This breastfeeding team can include family, friends, physicians, nurses, midwives, employers and childcare providers.
When mothers and babies are able to reach their breastfeeding goals, they also contribute to community prosperity, health, equity and environmental sustainability, she said.

“Healthy mothers with healthy babies are better able to contribute to household wealth because illnesses do not limit their opportunity to generate income,” Brown said. “Additionally, breastfeeding provides appropriate nutrition for infant growth, sets the stage for school-readiness and contributes to a cleaner environment with less waste. Together, all of these small contributions add up for improved global health.”

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