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Celebrate Minnesota Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health’s WIC program is celebrating Minnesota Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August, World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, and Black Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 25-31.

Breastfeeding Awareness Month helps raise awareness of the importance of empowering parents to successfully breastfeed and reach their goals. Breastfeeding is one of the best investments in saving lives and improving health. Support from family, employers, child care, public health and health providers all play critical roles in enabling breastfeeding.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding is the standard for infant feeding and has many benefits for the family. 

  • Breastfed babies visit the physician less often, are less likely to be hospitalized, and need fewer prescriptions than formula-fed infants.
  • Breastfeeding is environmentally friendly! No washing bottles, no packaging, no waste; just you and your baby.
  • Mothers who breastfeed have less risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Breastfeeding can be challenging, especially for those who return to work outside of the home. Parents face a variety of challenges to meet their breastfeeding goals in health care settings, workplaces and child care centers. Nine out of ten Minnesota moms start breastfeeding, but three of those nine will stop breastfeeding before their baby is six months old. Only about half of Minnesota infants are exclusively breastfed by three months. 

Good news! That’s changing in Minnesota. Growing numbers of health care, child care, employers and health departments are working to address the barriers and make breastfeeding easier for new parents. Saint Paul -- Ramsey County Public Health programs serve mothers who may face extra challenges in workplace support and other barriers. Public Health offers:

  • WIC’s office visits with professionally trained lactation staff.
  • WIC’s Peer Breastfeeding Program where mothers provide 24/7 one-on-one phone support and guidance to new parents.
  • WIC and Healthy Communities' Baby Cafes that provide free, drop-in events offering support for those who are breastfeeding/chestfeeding and their families.
  • Family Health Division’s breastfeeding resources and support through Family Home Visiting and Club Mom

By making breastfeeding easier, families can reach their goals and give their babies the best possible start in life. To celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Saint Paul -- Ramsey County’s WIC will be hosting a special Baby Cafe event and partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health to host a Lactation Station at the Minnesota State Fair.

Board proclaims August Breastfeeding Awareness Month

The board of commissioners proclaimed August 2019 as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Ramsey County.

The proclamation recognizes that Ramsey County is firmly committed to promoting breastfeeding as the optimal nutrition for all infants and a source of lifelong health protection for infants and mothers. Ramsey County has attained the breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Designation and calls upon all organizations to make workplaces and public spaces welcoming for breastfeeding families.

Commissioner McGuire presented a copy of the proclamation at the Aug. 13 board meeting. She was accompanied by Meghan Johnson, Ramsey County WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator, who provided remarks for the occasion.

 

Posted on Monday, August 12, 2019 - 4:13 p.m.