SRHD organizes first-ever Breastfeeding Walk, staff promotes Breastfeeding Welcome Here initiative to area businesses

The Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) announced today that its WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors will organize Spokane's first-ever Breastfeeding Walk, Aug. 7, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. beginning at Riverfront Park's Red Wagon. The walk corresponds with SRHD's celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, 2010.

"When health care professionals, legislators, employers, business owners, and community and family members work together, their efforts can increase the number of women who breastfeed their babies and the number of months that they breastfeed them-that's the spirit of this walk," said Dr. Joel McCullough, Health Officer for SRHD. "We're excited about the positive impact this collaboration will have on the health and wellbeing of our community."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, both babies and mothers gain many benefits from breastfeeding. Human milk provides the most complete form of nutrition for infants. Breast milk is easy to digest and contains antibodies that can protect infants from bacterial and viral infections. Research indicates that women who breastfeed may have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers.

World Breastfeeding Week 2010 is sponsored by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. Over the 7-day period, advocates in more than 170 countries worldwide will work to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

Several WIC Breastfeeding Counselors are also active with the Spokane County Breastfeeding Coalition and its Breastfeeding Welcome Here campaign. Its outreach promotes Washington state law that protects a woman's right to breastfeed her baby in places of public accommodation.

For more information about the Breastfeeding Walk, please contact Rinzen Shay at (509) 218-0562. For more information about Breastfeeding Welcome Here or to obtain Breastfeeding Welcome window clings, please contact Kristine Brewer at (509) 323-2806, or email at

SRHD's website offers comprehensive, updated information on public health, as well as links to other reliable information sources.