World Breastfeeding Week Arrives in Spokane

World Breastfeeding Week Arrives in Spokane

Jul 29, 2015

SRHD supports sixth annual World Breastfeeding Walk and Celebration, shares in theme: Breastfeeding and Work, Let’s Make it Work!

For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539 or kpapich@srhd.org

SPOKANE, Wash. – July 29, 2015 – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) announced today that during the week of Aug 1-7, 2015, 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.
 
On Saturday, Aug. 1, breastfeeding supporters, such as peer counselors and other WIC staff from the health district’s Women, Infant and Children (WIC) nutrition program, will participate in the World Breastfeeding Walk and Celebration, hosted by the Breastfeeding Coalition of Spokane. The celebration and walk begin at 10:00 a.m. 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 and Work, Let’s Make it Work! calls for concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work. Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is necessary that she is empowered in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed.
 
“Balancing work and family life, including breastfeeding, is increasingly necessary for women’s rights and a strong, healthy and vibrant workforce—and better society,” said Tiffany Schamber, WIC program manager. “We’re hoping for support from all sectors in Spokane to enable women everywhere to work and breastfeed safely and adequately.”
 
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.
 
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend that mothers breastfeed for a minimum of one year. Washington state ranks second in the nation for the proportion of infants who are breastfed in the early postpartum period. WIC contributes to this success by giving women equal access to breastfeeding education and support. Fifty-five percent of all infants born in Spokane County participate in the WIC program—of those infants, 85% initiated breastfeeding.
 
“Although a vast majority of WIC families are starting with breastfeeding, our duration rates are impacted by a mother’s ability to breastfeed in the workplace,” continued Schamber. “Our community should applaud employers who are family/parent/baby-friendly and mother-friendly, those that actively facilitate and support employed women to continue breastfeeding their children.”
 
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.
 
In addition to the health district’s WIC program and its support of breastfeeding moms, SRHD developed a worksite wellness toolkit that offers tips for breastfeeding-supportive workplaces. The health district 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 Kristen Bennett at (509) 323-2814, or email at kbennett@srhd.org.

For more information and ideas for how to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2015, 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.