Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility
(August 2, 2021) – San Miguel County, CO --- August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), often celebrated as World Breastfeeding Month in our neck of the woods. WBW is an annual celebration of breastfeeding to increase awareness and improve the health of mothers and babies. This year’s World theme is Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility. This theme emphasizes that breastfeeding is a team effort.
Breastfeeding requires many circles of support to create an environment that empowers families to breastfeed. With close support from dads, partners, families, friends, employers, child care providers, healthcare providers, and communities, breastfeeding improves.
Colorado’s specific theme, Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility, is aimed at promoting support within a community. An individual’s breastfeeding success involves finding support from all different areas in their community. It is important to help moms find support systems specific to their situation.
Breastfeeding support can be found in key areas throughout Colorado communities, including: hospitals, healthcare providers, The WIC (Women, Infants & Children) Program, local breastfeeding coalitions and Certified Lactation Counselors, La Leche League (LLL), employers and schools, child care providers, family, friends and partners.
Breastfeeding matters because breast milk:
- Provides the best nutrition.
- Keeps families healthy by protecting babies and moms from illnesses.
- Lowers healthcare costs and saves lives.
- Protects the environment, as it requires no packaging and results in fewer cans and bottles in landfills.
Breastfeeding significantly impacts the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies, both in the short and long term. Breast milk provides important nutrients, vitamins, antibodies, enzymes, probiotics and more that are not found in infant formula that keep babies healthy.
The health benefits of breastfeeding only increase as breastfeeding exclusivity and duration increase. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests breastfeeding for at least one year and exclusively (meaning baby receives no other food or drink) for the first six months. Studies show that breastfed infants are less likely to develop ear infections, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, some childhood cancers and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and less likely to become obese later in life as compared to formula fed infants. Additionally, it is estimated that if 90% of Americans breastfed exclusively for 6 months, approximately 1,000 lives and $13 billion in healthcare costs could be saved each year! Breastfeeding is a low cost way of feeding babies, helping to reduce poverty and prevent hunger, undernutrition and obesity.
The Colorado WIC Program www.coloradowic.gov, and our local Family Wellness Program of the San Juans www.sanjuanfamilywellness.com, provide breastfeeding education and support to Ouray & San Miguel County families. WIC supports low-income mothers by providing highly nutritious food packages purchased at participating grocery stores, free access to breastfeeding information and counseling, breast pumps, community resources and referrals, and mom-to-mom support through the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program. The Family Wellness Program of the San Juans is geared towards middle income families and provides nutrition health coaching, local, organic foods, breastfeeding promotion, support and pumps, as well as Wellness offerings like stress management, sleep consulting, couples counseling, and holistic care scholarships.
We have passionate and skilled breastfeeding experts in our region and aim for continuity of care for each new mother-baby diad.
To utilize the valuable local breastfeeding resources email email@example.com, or check out sanjuanfamilywellness.com/resources, or ColoradoWICSignUp.com.
Join local families, the nation and world in celebrating and promoting breastfeeding during WBW and the entire month of August!