Pasco, Citrus, Hernando Departments of Health and WIC recognize World Breastfeeding Week
The Florida Department of Health in Pasco, Citrus, and Hernando counties, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2022 from August 1 – 7. This year’s theme is Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support.
The Florida Department of Health in Pasco, Citrus, and Hernando counties are observing World Breastfeeding Week by participating in the following events:
- The National Breastfeeding Month Kick-Off Celebration event will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 2nd from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Regency Branch Library, 9701 Little Rd, New Port Richey, FL. Every Tuesday a no-cost Mom & Baby Breastfeeding Support Group is held at the Regency Branch Library from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.
- A celebration for Black Breastfeeding Week will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 30th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the Regency Branch Library, 9701 Little Rd, New Port Richey, FL.
- WIC also offers free breastfeeding classes at WIC Clinics throughout Pasco County. For an appointment or more information on the breastfeeding class or infant feeding call 813-364-5818.
- WIC offers a 7-day-a-week Infant Feeding Line from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm to provide support for topics that include breastfeeding, bottle feeding, breast care, and pumping by breastfeeding staff. For more information call the infant feeding line at 352-513-6060.
- The Florida West Coast Breastfeeding Taskforce’s Big Latch On event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6th from 9:00 am to 10:30 am. This drive-through event is a collaborative effort joining Pasco, Citrus, and Hernando counties. It will be held at 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd. in Spring Hill, FL. For more information contact: Jennie Rae at 352-540-6800.
- A no-cost Baby & Me Breastfeeding Support Group is held on every Thursday from 7:00-8:30 PM. Open to the public and facilitated by certified lactation professionals, including an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant. This is held at 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd. Spring Hill, FL. Education is also provided in other areas such as car seat safety, pump flange fitting, basics of infant CPR, safe sleep, babywearing, cloth diapering, and swim safety.
- A free infant feeding line is available for families to call with questions regarding breastfeeding and bottle feeding. For more information call, 352-540-6924.
The World Breastfeeding Week 2022 theme encourages everyone to support breastfeeding mothers, babies, and their families by creating a breastfeeding-friendly environment. Protecting breastfeeding ensures:
- Good health and prevents malnutrition, including under and over-nutrition. Breastfeeding has positive lifelong health effects on infants, children, and mothers such as lower incidence of respiratory infections and ear infections for infants and children and reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer for mothers. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of childhood overweight and obesity compared to formula feeding.
- Food security even in times of crisis. Breastfeeding provides food security to infants from the very beginning of life, contributes to food security for the whole family, and ensures food security for babies even in times of household or widespread disasters, such as hurricanes.
- Improved Economics and Reduced Inequalities. Breastfeeding can help break the cycle of poverty for families, which impacts hunger and malnutrition. Breastfeeding provides an equal start for everyone. With no additional burden on household income, breastfeeding is a low-cost way of feeding babies and contributes to poverty reduction. Breastfeeding can also reduce costs to the health care system and employers by decreasing costs of hospitalizations, medications, and reduced absenteeism.
- A positive impact on the health of the planet in several ways:
- Breastmilk is a sustainable and environmentally friendly resource.
- Breastfeeding is readily available without needing other supplies.
- Breastmilk production does not require the use of energy for manufacturing and does not create waste or air pollution.
To protect breastfeeding:
- Promote the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
- Provide access to skilled breastfeeding counseling. Studies have shown that breastfeeding promotion interventions increase exclusive breastfeeding rates at 4-6 weeks and at 6 months.
- Encourage employers and communities to promote and protect breastfeeding, through posting signs “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” and providing private areas for breastfeeding if that is a breastfeeding family’s preference.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants for the first year of life and beyond, with the addition of appropriate complementary foods when the infant is developmentally ready, around 6 months of age.
For more information about the Florida WIC program, call 1-800-342-3556 or visit www.FloridaWIC.org. To learn more about breastfeeding initiatives in Florida, visit www.flbreastfeeding.org, or the West Coast Breastfeeding Task Force www.flwcbreastfeeding.org. To view the CDC Breastfeeding Report Card visit, Breastfeeding Report Card | Breastfeeding | CDC and for more on Breastfeeding Data visit HERE.
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.
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