August is National Breastfeeding Month and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program is kicking off celebrations with World Breastfeeding Week.
Other events include the 10th annual Global Big Latch On and Black Breastfeeding Week from Aug. 25–31. Events are planned throughout the month to promote breastfeeding as the gold standard statewide.
According to Warren County Health Department nursing supervisor Pat Williams, the Warren County WIC Program supports breastfeeding mothers in a variety of ways.
“Breastfeeding gives babies a healthy start in life,” said Williams. “Our Warren Coun-ty WIC Program staff members are passionate about helping at every step of your breastfeeding journey.”
The theme for this year’s National Breastfeeding Month is “Support Changes Everything.” Tennessee Department of Health data for 2017 shows roughly 4-of-5 new Tennessee mothers, 80.9 percent, initiated breastfeeding of their newborns, a relative increase of 21 percent since 2010.
The Tennessee WIC Program is a strong supporter of breastfeeding, which is known to be highly effective in lowering the risk of many infections and diseases for both mothers and babies.
WIC provides breastfeeding participants with enhanced food packages, nutritional guidance and education, help from breastfeeding peer counselors and a new TNWIC card to purchase WIC-approved foods. Designated breastfeeding experts are also available in every county to assist all breastfeeding mothers in overcoming common breastfeeding challenges.
Another accessible resource is the Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week by calling 1-855-423-6667.
Nursing mothers, family members and health care providers are encouraged to call the hotline for breastfeeding support and information from international board-certified lactation consultants.
Learn more about local National Breastfeeding Month events or WIC eligibility by calling the Warren County Health Department at 473-8468.