For Hometown News
August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month and Healthiest Weight Florida, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health, WIC, Healthy Start, the Florida Child Care Food Program and the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention, is announcing its own August Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign.
The purpose of the campaign is to promote breastfeeding as a vital health activity as well as encourage breastfeeding friendly communities throughout Florida.
Infant feeding is one of the most important decisions a family can make. Research shows babies that receive only breast milk for the first six months of life are less likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, obesity and respiratory illnesses. They are also less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Also, breastfeeding for nine months reduces a baby's odds of being overweight by 30 percent.
Mothers benefit from breastfeeding with a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers. The Florida Department of Health, as well as medical organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics, strongly recommends babies exclusively breastfeed for about the first six months of life and continue to breastfeed for at least one to two years to achieve optimal health.
Based on 2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 71.8 percent of women in Florida have ever tried breastfeeding compared to the national average of 76.5 percent. The Department of Health offers a variety of programs, materials and resources to encourage breastfeeding friendly environments throughout the sunshine state.
Go online to HealthiestWeightFL.com/bf for more information.