PASCO COUNTY, Florida. – The Florida Department of Health in Pasco, Citrus, and Hernando Counties and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2022 August 1-7 . This year’s theme is Intensify Breastfeeding: Educate and Support.
The Florida Department of Health in Pasco, Citrus, and Hernando Counties observes World Breastfeeding Week by participating in the following events:
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- The National Breastfeeding Month Launch Celebration Event will be held Tuesday, August 2 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Regency Branch Library, 9701 Little Rd, New Port Richey, FL. Every Tuesday free of charge Breastfeeding support group for mom and baby takes place at the Regency Branch Library from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- A Black Breastfeeding Week celebration will be held on Tuesday, August 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Regency Branch Library, 9701 Little Rd, New Port Richey, FL.
- WIC also offers free breastfeeding classes at WIC clinics in Pasco County. For an appointment or more information about breastfeeding class or infant feeding, call 813-364-5818.
- WIC offers an infant feeding line 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. to provide support on topics such as breastfeeding, bottle feeding, breast care and expression by nursing staff . For more information, call the Infant Feeding Line at 352-513-6060.
- The Florida West Coast Breastfeeding Taskforce’s Big Latch On event will take place on Saturday, August 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. This drive-in event is a collaborative effort between Pasco, Citrus and Hernando counties. It will be held at 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd. in Spring Hill, Florida. For more information, contact: Jennie Rae at 352-540-6800.
- One free of charge Baby and Me Breastfeeding Support Group takes place every Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Open to the public and facilitated by certified lactation professionals, including an International Board-certified lactation consultant. This is held at 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd. Spring Hill, Florida. Training is also provided in other areas such as car seat safety, fitting the pump bridle, basics of infant CPR, safe sleeping, babywearing, cloth diapers and swimming safety.
- A free infant feeding line is available for families to call with questions about breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. For more information, call 352-540-6924.
The World Breastfeeding Week 2022 theme encourages everyone to support breastfeeding mothers, babies and their families by creating a supportive environment for breastfeeding. Protecting breastfeeding ensures:
- Good health and prevents malnutrition, including under and overnutrition. Breastfeeding has positive effects on the health of infants, children and mothers throughout life, such as a lower incidence of respiratory infections and ear infections in infants and children and a reduction risk of breast and ovarian cancer in mothers. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of overweight and obesity in children compared to formula feeding.
- Food security even in times of crisis. Breastfeeding provides food security for infants early in life, contributes to food security for the whole family, and ensures food security for babies even in times of domestic or widespread disasters, such as hurricanes.
- Improving the economy and reducing inequalities. Breastfeeding can help break the cycle of poverty for families, which impacts hunger and malnutrition. Breastfeeding provides an equal start for everyone. With no additional burden on household income, breastfeeding is an inexpensive way to feed babies and contributes to poverty reduction. Breastfeeding can also reduce costs for the health care system and employers by decreasing hospitalization costs, medication costs and reducing absenteeism.
- A positive impact on the health of the planet in several ways:
- Breast milk is a sustainable and environmentally friendly resource.
- Breastfeeding is readily available without the need for other supplies.
- The production of breast milk does not require the use of energy for manufacturing and does not create waste or air pollution.
To protect breastfeeding:
- Promote the implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.
- Provide access to qualified breastfeeding advice. Studies have shown that breastfeeding promotion interventions increase exclusive breastfeeding rates at 4-6 weeks and 6 months.
- Encourage employers and communities to promote and protect breastfeeding, by posting “Welcome to Breastfeeding Here” signs and providing private spaces for breastfeeding if that is the preference of a breastfeeding family .
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants for the first year of life and beyond, with the addition of appropriate complementary foods when the infant is developmentally ready, around age of 6 months.
For more information about the Florida WIC program, call 1-800-342-3556 or visit www.FloridaWIC.org. To learn more about breastfeeding initiatives in Florida, visit www.flbreastfeeding.org, or the West Coast Breastfeeding Task Force www.flwcbreastfeeding.org. To view the CDC’s Breastfeeding Report Card visit, Breastfeeding Newsletter | Breastfeeding | CDC and for more breastfeeding data, visit HERE.
About Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, strives to protect, promote, and improve the health of all Florida residents through integrated state, county, and from the community.
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