Whitesburg KY
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy

Group names August 1-7 World Breastfeeding Week

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Kentucky, and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has declared August 1-7 as World Breastfeeding Week. The theme for this year is “Breastfeeding: The 1st Hour-Welcome Baby Softly.”

Breastfeeding a newborn provides the skin-to-skin contact and warmth that babies need most, especially premature and low birth weight babies. Scientific evidence reveals that if all women started breastfeeding within one hour after delivery it could prevent the deaths of one million of the four million babies worldwide who die during the first month of life.

Early initiation of breastfeeding protects infants from early exposure to bacteria and viruses, increases maternal oxytocin important for milk production and attachment, and helps prevent maternal blood loss. Pre-term infants benefit from breast milk because of the greater amounts of protein, fat, sodium, iron, chloride and other nutrients than in milk from mothers of term infants. Breast milk changes as the baby grows to meet the infant’s ever-changing needs.

Breastfeeding protects the baby against many illnesses, including ear infections, upper and lower respiratory ailments, allergies, intestinal disorders, colds, viruses, staph, strep and e coli infections, diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, many childhood cancers, meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, salmonella, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and well as lifetime protection from Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, some lymphomas, insulin dependent diabetes, and for girls, breast and ovarian cancer.

Locally, breastfeeding education is offered through the county health department, and is supported by the Letcher County Extension Service. For more information, contact Valerie Adams, 606-436-2196, or Susie Fitch, 606-634-9491.

Leave a Reply