By: Margaret Betette
August 1st kicked off World Breastfeeding Week for 2014. The theme for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is, “BREASTFEEDING: A Winning Goal-For Life!” The theme this year is meant to assert the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding.
Choosing how you will feed your baby is one of the most important decisions you can make as a new parent. Breastmilk is 100% natural and can help protect your baby from different pollutants in the environment. Breastmilk can also help protect your baby from common flus, coughs, and colds that babies are more susceptible to in their first year of life. The WIC program promotes and supports breastfeeding because of the many health benefits that effect mom and baby. Not only is breastmilk the ideal food for newborns and infants but breastmilk is known to promote a lifetime of good health. The World Health Organization states, “Adolescents and adults who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight or obese. They are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and perform better in intelligence tests.” The NYS WIC program promotes breastfeeding through one on one nutrition education sessions with mom and baby as well as through our peer counseling program which starts prenatally and continues throughout mom’s whole breastfeeding journey. Peer counselors have not only breastfed their own children but have been trained to help other moms breastfeed.
We were able to sit down with a WIC mom who is currently breastfeeding her one-month-old son. Sarah* shared with us; “being able to bond with my son is what I like most about breastfeeding.” Whatever your breastfeeding goals are enjoying yourself and your progress with your child in the moment can be just as gratifying as looking back and appreciating your success in the long run. For information about breastfeeding visit the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action website at www.waba.org.
* identifying information has been changed for privacy.