Illinois Supports Breastfeeding Month

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DeKalb County Health Department WIC Staff

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has declared August 2017 as Breastfeeding Promotion Month in Illinois. The proclamation aims to increase public awareness of breastfeeding as the normal and expected way to feed all babies in Illinois. Breastfeeding advocates in more than 120 countries worldwide will celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) with the theme “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.” Every year millions of people use this opportunity to take action to protect, promote and support Breastfeeding.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” – Helen Keller. It will take effort from us all to succeed in establishing Breastfeeding as a foundation for lifelong health and a means of food security for infants, and to establish maternity protections and other workplace policies to enable women to combine breastfeeding and employment.

Throughout Illinois, local WIC agencies work within their communities to get mothers and babies off to a great start with breastfeeding. In the past year, 83% of DCHD WIC clients have breastfed their babies in some capacity. Continuing the education and counseling moms receive prenatally, WIC agencies work with their area hospitals to provide seamless support as moms come home from the hospital and transition back to work and school. Through the statewide Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program, moms receive one-on- one support from experienced breastfeeding moms.

As part of The Healthy People 2020 Breastfeeding Goals for the Nation, Illinois continues to work with community partners to increase breastfeeding at 3 months to 46% and to increase the number of babies born at hospitals that provide recommended care for breastfeeding moms and their babies. DCHD works closely with Northwestern Medicine, at Kishwaukee and Valley West Hospitals, to promote their initiatives of breastfeeding from birth.

Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mom and baby:
Benefits for Baby:

  • Breast milk is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby
  • Breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein to help your baby
    continue to grow
  • Breast milk is easier to digest for most babies, especially premature babies.
  • Breast milk fights disease and can protect baby from: reparatory infections, asthma, &
    obesity

Good for Mom:

  • Lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer & postpartum depression.

To learn more about the many programs and services of the Health Department, visit
health.dekalbcounty.org, or call (815)758-6673.