What: World Breastfeeding Week Celebration
When: Thursday (Aug. 4), at 11 a.m.
Where: Lake Redding Park Pavilion, 56 Quartz Hill Rd
Shasta County moms, babies and breastfeeding supporters join with thousands across the state to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, a global event to raise awareness about the many benefits of breastfeeding. Our local event will take place Thursday, August 4th at 11 a.m. with a celebration, brown bag lunch and walk, beginning at Lake Redding Park Pavilion.
Hosted by Shasta County Breastfeeding Support Center and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Peer Counseling Program, this year’s event will celebrate eight moms who have participated in peer counseling and the Shasta Moms’ Circle. They will be recognized by their peers and their community for having breastfed their babies for one year.
WIC’s new Peer Counseling program connects trained peers who have successfully breastfed their children with pregnant moms who want to breastfeed their children. Rebecca Baxter is one of more than 500 women receiving support from a peer counselor. “I had early problems with my baby not latching on,” explains Rebecca, “but with willingness and support of my peer counselor showing me techniques, I was able to get past the difficulties and continue to breastfeed my baby.”
Moms who intend to provide only breastmilk to their babies during the first six months are also invited to join their peer counselor’s Shasta Mom’s Circle. Meeting monthly, the Circles provide an opportunity for the peer counselor to discuss breastfeeding tips and healthy habits and for all participants to share their pregnancy and parenting experiences. Pregnant with her first baby, Jennifer Ullevig enjoyed meeting moms and found the reassurance she needed. And about breastfeeding, she reports, “We are going strong!”
“Breastfeeding provides the perfect nutrition for babies,” said Susan Ann Spencer, IBCLC. “Breastfeeding saves families money, is 100% natural, decreases obesity in children and adults and decreases the risk for many life-long chronic diseases, including certain cancers and diabetes.” According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding mothers and their babies are healthier, and communities benefit through lower healthcare costs, a healthier workforce, and stronger family bonds.
While more than 80% of Shasta County moms start out breastfeeding, that number drops dramatically to less than 30% by six months. Many mothers who wish to continue breastfeeding say several factors discourage them, including lack of breastfeeding information from health care professionals, lack of support at home and lack of time and privacy to express milk after returning to work. For more information on the 2011 World Breastfeeding Week Celebration or to learn more about breastfeeding support services, please call 245-7554 or visit www.shastahhsa.net.
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