The Norwalk Health Department recognizes World Breastfeeding Week this week and National Breastfeeding Month during the entire month of August.
The Health Department encourages moms to learn more about breastfeeding and urges the community to support families in their breastfeeding goals. The Health Department educates, encourages, and supports mothers in their breastfeeding goals through the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program and other outreach efforts. In addition to providing education and support, the Health Department also offers a private space at the office for clients to breastfeed or pump.
In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, the Norwalk Health Department’s WIC program staff will be at the Norwalk Community Health Center’s Farmers Market located at 120 Connecticut Avenue on August 3, 2022, from 11am - 3pm. Educational materials, raffles, and breastfeeding promotional items will be offered at this event to members of the public.
This year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Month is, “Together we can do great things.” This month’s theme emphasizes the importance of working together as a community to support mothers and families through their breastfeeding journey to improve the overall health of all mothers and children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months and continue breastfeeding through at least 1 year along with complimentary foods. Unfortunately, only about 58% of infants in the United States are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life.
This breastfeeding team can include family, friends, physicians, nurses, midwives, employers, and childcare providers. Together, the breastfeeding team provides information to boost confidence, protects mothers from criticism, gives reassurance, and lends a hand to help breastfeeding mothers succeed. Team members with special skills and knowledge about breastfeeding, such as a peer counselor, certified lactation counselor, or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®), can be especially helpful. In addition, employers can support their employees’ breastfeeding goals in several ways, including providing paid maternity leave, offering private locked space in the office for pumping, and allowing flexible break times.