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SANTA ROSA COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT CELEBRATES NATIONAL BREASTFEEDING MONTH

August 06, 2019

Milton, FL — The Santa Rosa County Health Department (Santa Rosa CHD) is celebrating National Breastfeeding Month this August. This year's theme is Support Changes Everything. In observance of World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, breastfeeding support staff from Santa Rosa CHD attended the Global Big Latch On hosted by Birthing Tree, LLC at Northridge Church on East Nine Mile Road in Pensacola, Saturday, August 3. This year's event was attended by 172, with 47 mothers participating in the Latch On. 

Santa Rosa CHD works to promote breastfeeding as a vital health activity, and encourages breastfeeding-friendly hospitals, child care facilities, work places and communities. How to feed a new baby is one of the first important decisions a family has to make, and most women who choose to breastfeed have a specific goal in mind. 

Research shows: 

  • Breastfed infants have a reduced risk of infections, asthma, obesity and SIDS compared with formula-fed infants;
  • Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression compared to mothers who don't breastfeed; and
  • It's estimated that $13 billion would be saved per year if 90 percent of U.S. infants were breastfed exclusively for six months.

To reach the goal of exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months mothers need supportive work policies, infant and child-care at or near the workplace, and private facilities for expressing and storing breastmilk. It takes time and practice to learn how to breastfeed, both for mother and baby, and to establish a good milk supply. 

The Santa Rosa County Health Department's WIC program offers resources and staff to help breastfeeding mothers. Elisabeth (Lis) Jordan is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with experience and a high level of specialized knowledge in breastfeeding. She is available day or night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions and offer support to mothers who have made the important decision to breastfeed. 

"It takes a strong commitment to successfully breastfeed,” Lis said.  “That’s really half the battle.  The other half is having a strong support system. It’s becoming more apparent that it truly does take a village for mothers to be successful, but it’s worth every effort when examining the positive health outcomes for all.” 

 

The WIC program also employs a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, Dawn Hodges-Nolan. Peer counselors are chosen from the same socio/economic/ethnic groups as WIC clients and have successfully breastfed their own babies.  Breastfeeding peer counselors provide mother-to-mother basic breastfeeding education and support to pregnant and breastfeeding moms. 

Santa Rosa CHD also offers breastfeeding classes and a support group, The Milky Way, and mothers do not have to participate in WIC to take advantage of the information and support they provide.  Women who would like to attend a class, or who are just looking for information and support, can contact Lis Jordan directly at 850-313-4035.  

“Breastfeeding is a unique experience only a mother can give to her baby,” Lis said, “and my hope is that mothers will take comfort in knowing our WIC team is here to support them on their journey.”

For more information about the Florida WIC program call 1-800-342-3556 or visit www.FloridaWIC.org. To learn more about National Breastfeeding Month and the benefits of breastfeeding visit www.usbreastfeeding.org, www.llli.org or www.flbreastfeeding.org.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.