For Immediate Release

July 22, 2002

Doesn't Your Baby Deserve The Best?
World Breastfeeding Week
August 1-7th

World Breastfeeding Week will be celebrated all over the world during the week of August 1-7th. Thousands of breastfeeding families, their supporters, and health care providers around the world will highlight the urgent need to protect, promote and support the health and well being of mothers and children.

When a mother chooses to breastfeed, she is providing her baby with a healthy start and making an important decision about her own health and well-being. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life and that breastfeeding continue with complementary food for at least a full year.

Breastfeeding is simple, natural and it produces healthier babies. Breastfed babies are healthier babies, putting fewer demands on the healthcare system. Breastfeeding provides the mother with health benefits as well. Breastfeeding helps protect mom from breast, ovarian and uterine cancers. A recent study by USDA's Economic Research Service reports that a minimum of $3.6 BILLION could be saved in medical costs every year if the number of women choosing to breastfeed increased from 64 percent to 75 percent.

Unfortunately, many moms lack the experience and support to breastfeed their baby. However, Cumberland County has a variety of breastfeeding resources available for new parents. The Cumberland County Health Department offers breastfeeding education and support. For more information call 433-3894 or 433-3858. La Leche League of Cumberland County also offers support and education at no cost to the public (486-6252). Cape Fear Valley Health System and Womack Army Medical Center offer educational programs and have trained staff members in their Family Centered Care Units.

The annual Maternity Fair will be hosted by La Leche League at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux on August 17th from 10-3 pm. Breastfeeding information and resources will be featured.

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