Breastfeeding Awareness Month Highlights Classes at Sedgwick County Health Department
(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for most infants. It can also reduce the risk for some short- and long-term health conditions for both infants and mothers. One goal of the Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) is to educate the public on the benefits of breastfeeding and increase the rates of mothers who breastfeed their infants.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program’s mission is to support and educate women on the importance of providing breast milk to their infants exclusively for the first six months of the child’s life. Breastfeeding Education Classes are free and open to the public; WIC enrollment is not required. In the class, attendees will learn about breast milk, get tips on feeding from peer counselors and explore feeding options for your infant. Classes are held from noon to 1 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Main WIC Office, 1900 E. 9th Street N. (bring your own lunch).
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of asthma, obesity, ear and respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting), and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for preterm infants. The CDC also says breastfeeding can help lower a mother’s risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer.1
Businesses that support breastfeeding mothers also enjoy lower health care costs, reduced absenteeism, and lower employee turnover. During the National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, the SCHD continues to focus on breastfeeding among working mothers by reminding businesses of the importance of becoming lactation supportive workplaces.
Breastfeeding is a personal choice informed by social and cultural factors. It is important to respect these differences. The National Institute for Children’s Health Equality has information available for best practices regarding cultural sensitivity for better breastfeeding outcomes.2 For more information about the Sedgwick County WIC Program, and the importance of breastfeeding, please call (316) 660-7300 or visit https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/health/.