Westchester Health Department promotes breastfeeding during National Breastfeeding Month

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Mid-Hudson News file photo

WHITE PLAINS – During World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from August 1 through 7, and National Breastfeeding Month, in August, the Westchester County Department of Health is recognizing the public health contribution of breastfeeding mothers.

“I encourage all new mothers to give breastfeeding a chance because breast milk is best for baby. It provides antibodies that can protect infants from diseases before they are fully vaccinated. It can reduce their risk of Sudden Infant Death and their risk of obesity later in life, and it also benefits mothers,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants breastfeed exclusively until they are six months old. In June, the Academy also issued new guidance urging pediatricians to support parents who continue to breastfeed after solid foods are introduced at six months, and up until the child is two or older.

Through the county’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the health department supports mothers who breastfeed by providing them with breast pumps, additional nourishing food and the help of certified lactation counselors and peer counselors. Currently, 117 WIC moms are exclusively breastfeeding and 470 are partially breastfeeding.