As World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2017 comes to an end, the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition supports the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other organizations that babies should be breastfed exclusively for six months and continue breastfeeding for the first year of life and beyond.
World Breastfeeding Week is organized by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. The WBW 2017 theme was Sustaining Breastfeeding Together. While breastfeeding can sometimes be a challenge, mothers can be successful with support and encouragement. Coalition Breastfeeding Outreach Coordinator Denise Mills, provides breastfeeding classes in the community and encourages mothers to set goals each month and try to reach them. The next month they should set new goals and grow from there.
Both baby and mother gain many benefits from breast feeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Breastmilk is easy to digest and contains antibodies that can protect infants from bacterial and viral infections. A baby’s risk of becoming an overweight child declines with each month of breastfeeding. Women who breastfeed may have lower rates of ovarian cancer and certain types of breast cancer. It also allows mother more time to bond with baby.
Mothers may experience latch issues, engorgement or concerns about your milk output concerns. Mothers can find support and resources at their delivering hospital, their local WIC office, the La Leche League — Northeast Florida, the National Breastfeeding Helpline at 1.800.994.9662 and online resources like whattoexpect.com and kellymom.com. For mothers living in Northeast Florida, the Coalition hosts weekly community breastfeeding support groups at several locations throughout Jacksonville:
- Tuesdays from 11:30 am until 1:00 pm at the Azalea Project
- Wednesdays at UF Health from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm
Denise Mills can be reached at DMills@nefhsc.org or 904.723.5422 x 127