FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 3, 2011 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford -- The Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition and the Connecticut Department of Public Health are teaming up during World Breastfeeding Week to encourage mothers throughout Connecticut to breastfeed their babies.
“The benefits of breastfeeding your baby are not just nutritional. They also include developmental, emotional and other health benefits,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Breastfeeding gives your baby a healthy start to life.”
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme, Talk to Me! Breastfeeding: A 3D Experience, focuses on communication, an essential part of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. Consistent with this theme, the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition and the Department of Public Health are encouraging Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program providers across the state to partner with their local libraries to place breastfeeding promotional materials in visible areas for people to access.
The CBC and the department’s WIC Program also made donations of two books, La Leche League International’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Mama’s Milk/Mama Me Alimenta, to 24 selected libraries to add to their adult and children’s holdings.
One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant and herself is to breastfeed. Although most mothers in the United States hope to breastfeed - and 75% of babies start out being breastfed - only 13% are exclusively breastfed 6 months later. Rates are significantly lower for African-American infants.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1 to 7 in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. For more information, please visit http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/.
For specific steps for communities to take to promote, support and protect breastfeeding, please refer to the 2011 Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding at http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/promotion/calltoaction.htm or log on to the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition website: www.breastfeedingct.org.
Connecticut’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children – better known as the WIC Program – is administered by the Department of Public Health and serves to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritional assessment and education, referrals to health care and nutritious foods to supplement diets.
For more information about Connecticut’s WIC program, or to find a local WIC provider in your area, go to: www.ct.gov/dph/wic.
The Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition consists of representatives from local health departments, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC), the American Academy of Pediatrics, hospitals, community health centers, La Leche League of Connecticut, as well as lactation consultants, nurses, nutritionists, parent educators, and consumers, and promotes and supports breastfeeding as the norm for infant and child feeding in Connecticut.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the Department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.