Every year, families around the world celebrate the benefits of breastfeeding the first week of August.
The 2010 theme for World Breastfeeding Week is "Breastfeeding Just 10 Steps," focusing on 10 steps that health care providers and facilities providing services to mothers and babies can follow to help assure successful breastfeeding.
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action identifies the 10 steps as:
* Having a written breastfeeding policy shared with all staff,
* Training all staff in skills needed to implement the policy,
* Informing pregnant women of the benefits of breastfeeding for themselves and their infants,
* Helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half hour after delivery,
* Helping mothers maintain lactation even if they have to be separated from their infants,
* Not giving any food other than breast milk unless medically indicated,
* Practice rooming in so mom and baby stay together,
* Encourage breastfeeding on demand,
* Not give any artificial nipples or pacifiers, and
* Encourage the establishment of support groups that mothers are referred to on discharge from the hospital.
The USDA Special Supplemental Foods and Nutrition Education Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supports breastfeeding mothers and infants.
Indiana WIC has policies promoting breastfeeding and providing resources to breastfeeding moms, including Peer Counselors who are experienced breastfeeding mothers helping other mothers.
The WIC Program also provides a larger supplemental food package for fully breastfeeding moms than for non-breastfeeding moms.
Breastfeeding moms can participate in WIC until their babies are 1-year-old.
Non-breastfeeding moms participate for themselves until their babies are 6-months-old.
For more information about World Breastfeeding Week, contact Liz Wheby at Clay County WIC at 442-0573.