Communities Need to Work Together to Provide Support for Breastfeeding Mothers
Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County is celebrating Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August.
This year’s theme “Empower Families, Support Breastfeeding” focuses on the importance of supporting all members of a breastfeeding family as well as working to advocate for breastfeeding supportive environments in and around local communities.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding with the addition of appropriate solid food for the first year and beyond.
“In light of the monetary and life-saving benefits of breastfeeding, everyone should support breastfeeding” said “Jeff Cooper, Health Commissioner, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County. “Ultimately, our whole society benefits from having healthier mothers, babies and children when breastfeeding is promoted, protected and supported.”
One of the most important things businesses and the community can do is to allow mothers to feel comfortable nursing in public. Hungry babies need to eat and Ohio law allows breastfeeding in public. Businesses can show their support by placing the “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” universal sign for breastfeeding in their windows and educate their staffs on the acceptance of breastfeeding in their establishments. They can also encourage their employees and provide a private space (other than a bathroom) to pump. This will increase employee retention and reduce medical costs.
Public Health is hosting an event celebrating Black Breastfeeding Week on Friday, August 30 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Drew Health Center located at 1323 W. Third St. The celebration is free and open to all and will include door prizes, refreshments, a photo booth and educational material.
For more information about breastfeeding in Montgomery County call Public Health’s Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) at (937) 225-4491