For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Inforamtion Officer at (509) 324-1539

SPOKANE, Wash. – Aug 1, 2013 – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) announced today that during the week of Aug 1-7, 2013, it will again celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, an annual event that draws attention to the positive health impacts of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers.
 
Breastfeeding peer counselors from the health district’s Women, Infant and Children nutrition program (WIC) will again host a World Breastfeeding Walk and Celebration, Sat., Aug 3, at 10:00 a.m. beginning at Riverfront Park’s Red Wagon. At 10:25 a.m., participants are encouraged to join in the Big Latch On, a simultaneous international event where groups of breastfeeding women come together at registered locations to all latch on their child at the same time. The Big Latch On helps focus international attention on communities’ efforts to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion.
 
This year's World Breastfeeding Week theme, Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers, highlights the importance of providing support to breastfeeding families, which aligns perfectly with the work WIC breastfeeding peer counselors are doing every day.
 
“Our peer counselors provide personal, one-to-one attention in assisting with breastfeeding problems and helping moms reach their breastfeeding goals,” said Dr. Joel McCullough, SRHD health officer. “Research shows that peer counselors help to increase not only breastfeeding initiation rates, but help moms breastfeed longer than they would without individualized support.”
 
Worldwide, more than 170 countries celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Health agencies like SRHD organize activities to help spread awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and the risks of not breastfeeding.
 
According to the U.S. 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 offers breastfeeding infants protection against bacterial and viral infections. Research indicates that women who breastfeed may have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers.
In addition to the health district’s WIC program and its support of breastfeeding moms, SRHD also has a Wellness Committee that includes worksite breastfeeding support as one of its initiatives.
 
For more information about the health district’s support of World Breastfeeding Week or its planned activities, please contact Kristine Brewer at (509) 323-2806, or email at kbrewer@srhd.org.
 
For more information and ideas for how to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2013, visit http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/. More information about WIC and SRHD can be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.