August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month

The facts are clear: Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed a baby because it strengths their immune system, guards them against obesity and diabetes, and forges a strong bond with their mom, among many other benefits. It also helps protect moms form breast and ovarian cancers and post-partum depression. But, until this last year, Michigan moms were often made to feel uncomfortable about feeding their baby in public, sometimes even being directed to breastfeed in bathrooms.

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Michigan and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, and Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) invite you to join in the celebrating the new law protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed anywhere she has a right to be. According to Jean Ballone, MS, RD, Certified Breastfeeding Counselor, “inviting and encouraging moms to breastfeed anytime and anywhere will help change the culture around breastfeeding in public. This will promote breastfeeding initiation and duration rates which will lead to healthier children for generations to come.”

Communities can support mothers and babies by making them feel welcome to breastfeed in all public places and local establishments. According to WIC Director Stan Bien, “Breastfeeding is a natural act with many proven benefits,” and, “by supporting new mother, we help ensure good infant health, reduce infant mortality rates, and prevent obesity.”

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department has had the opportunity to help daycare centers throughout Houghton County support breastfeeding with a grant from the Keweenaw Community Foundation. “Since many moms find working and breastfeeding difficult, we were thrilled when the Keweenaw Community Foundation gave us the opportunity to work with our local daycare centers to support our breastfeeding moms,” Ballone said.

For more information about breastfeeding, please visit the following:

A Mother’s One-Stop Breastfeeding Resource

Best for Babes Foundation

CDC-Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions

United States Breastfeeding Coalition

The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer