CELEBRATION FLIER3Mothers and soon-to-be mothers are invited to participate in World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, as part of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.

Swope Health Services’ Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) department will host a celebration of breastfeeding from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, August 7, joining in the international recognition.

All WIC participants, SHS Pediatric and OB/GYN clients are invited to the Nia Room in Building C at SHS Central for the event.

More than 10 agencies will be on hand to share information and resources. There will be food and beverages, as well as a raffle with items for babies and mothers, including a pack-and-play kit, baby carriers and a stroller. There will be face-painting for kids, as well as games and prizes.

“This is our way of celebrating our moms and their breastfeeding achievements,” said Emily Mentzel, WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor. “We want to encourage breastfeeding as the best way to feed babies.”

Decades of scientific research has shown that mother’s milk is the healthiest food for infants. It’s also one of the most cost-effective actions to improve maternal and child health.

breastfeeding week logoBlack women are less likely to breastfeed their children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reports 81 percent of white mothers initiated breastfeeding compared to 64 percent of black mothers. The CDC, which strongly supports breastfeeding, further reports that increased breastfeeding among black women could decrease infant mortality by as much as 50 percent.

“Breastfeeding has so many benefits for both Mom and baby,” Mentzel said. “It’s really an incomparable experience.”

For example, infants fed breast milk have fewer infections and allergies and lower rates of becoming overweight during childhood and adolescence.

A report by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality detailed a 50 percent reduction in ear infections and a 64 percent decrease in gastrointestinal infections. And Moms who breastfeed decrease their risks of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

world-breastfeeding-week-2018Additionally, mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis later in life, and have lower risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.

Often new mothers are plagued by doubt and misinformation about breastfeeding.  That’s where WIC can help with coaching and resources for healthy choices.

“We want moms to feel confident they can do it and really take ownership of developing healthy relationships with the baby,” Emily said. “We want to celebrate their achievements.”

For more information, visit the WIC department, located on the first floor at SHS Central, during walk-in hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday (except the third Friday of the month) from 8-10:30 a.m. and 1:30-3 p.m. Or, call 816-922-1080 to make an appointment.