Dalton (GA) - In anticipation of World Breastfeeding Week, October 1-7, 2013, the North Georgia Health District is presenting a World Breastfeeding Week Walk on Friday, September 20, 2013! The World Breastfeeding Week Walk will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Mack Gaston Community Center in Dalton at 214 Fredrick Drive. The public is encouraged to come for a healthy walk, exciting exhibits and free goodies. North Georgia Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will partner with the Northwest Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition to highlight the importance of providing support to breastfeeding families through the 2013 World Breastfeeding Week theme, Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers.
Infant feeding is one of the most important decisions that new families make. Evidence is clear that breastfeeding is the ideal way to feed an infant. Research shows that infants who are not exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life are more likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, obesity and respiratory illnesses. Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding with a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers.
Despite most mothers wanting to breastfeed, many are met with barriers that keep them from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. Support and encouragement from all angles can make success possible for mothers who wish to breastfeed. Negative attitudes and practices of the mother's closest support network can pose a sizeable barrier, making it difficult for mothers and babies to successfully breastfeed.
Appropriate breastfeeding support can build a mother's confidence with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding families need to be supported by their community. This support can be expressed by healthcare providers adopting policies and practices that assume breastfeeding as the normal feeding method for infants, by employers providing a private place and flexible work options to express breastmilk during the work day, or by childcare providers talking to new families about how they support breastfeeding. Breastfeeding peer counselors, mother-to-mother support groups, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) certificants work in communities and can provide a wealth of knowledge to breastfeeding families.
An IBCLC is a certified healthcare professional with special knowledge and experience assisting breastfeeding families. The IBCLC can work in a variety of environments and many work with employers and businesses to help establish worksite lactation support programs. To find a lactation consultant in your community, visit ILCA's “Worksite Lactation Support” Directory. Mothers can also find a local IBCLC to help them with breastfeeding questions and concerns by visiting the “Find a Lactation Consultant” Directory. Both directories can be found at www.ILCA.org.
World Breastfeeding Week is coordinated globally by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). For more information, visit the WABA website at www.waba.org.my. To learn more about the World Breastfeeding Week Walk in Dalton, call (706) 272-2991.