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Celebrating moms and working mothers during World Breastfeeding Week

Celebrating moms and working mothers during World Breastfeeding Week

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The World Breastfeeding Week is Aug. 1-7. PPHD and others will celebrate this week by supporting moms and working mothers around the Panhandle.

Breastfeeding is one of the best investments for healthier moms, babies, families, organizations, and communities.

Breastfeeding babies have:

— Stronger immune systems

— Fewer colds and respiratory illnesses

— Fewer ear infections

— Fewer cases of bacterial meningitis

— Better vision

— Lower rates of infant mortality

— Lower rates of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

— Less illness overall and less hospitalization

— Parents have up to six times less absenteeism from work

Breast milk is the perfect nutrition for the baby as it contains the best combination of ingredients for a strong immune system and overall growth and development especially during the first six months of the child’s life. It contains the perfect blend of nutrients, fat, and protein for your baby to grow at just the right rate. As time passes and the baby grows, the milk changes to meet the new nutritional requirements.

Research shows the child’s immune system will not be fully mature for many years. While the child is developing, they will be protected by being breastfed.

Many medical organizations strongly recommend breastfeeding for the baby, but there are many benefits to the mother.

Mothers that breastfeed return to their pre-pregnancy weight sooner and have lower rates of breast, cervical, ovarian and uterine cancer. Breastfeeding helps the uterus return to normal and decreases blood loss after the baby is born. Each mother and baby are unique, and the decision to breastfeed is up to the mother.

“The bonding and nourishment while breastfeeding is a gift that lasts a lifetime,” Dezarae Brandt, PPHD Healthy Families program manager, said.

Employers benefit, too. Many employers do not realize that breastfeeding can save money. Employer benefits for supporting breastfeeding employees include:

— Breastfeeding employees miss work less often because breastfed infants are healthier.

— Breastfeeding lowers health care costs.

— Breastfeeding support helps employers keep their best employees so that less money is spent hiring and training new employees.

— Breastfeeding employees who are supported in the workplace report higher productivity and loyalty.

— Supporting breastfeeding employees creates a positive public image.

To learn more about the Panhandle Public Health District’s (PPHD) Healthy Families program and how your organization can benefit from supporting breastfeeding, please join the monthly Panhandle Worksite Wellness Council (PWWC) wellness chat on Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. During this call, health officials will highlight the Healthy Families program and discuss the importance of breastfeeding. If you are interested in joining this wellness chat, please contact Nicole Berosek at nberosek@pphd.org.

For additional information about worksite wellness, visit www.pphd.org/pwwc.html or call Berosek at 308-262-2217.

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