Oakland County Health Division’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, in partnership with the Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition, celebrated World Breastfeeding Week this morning by holding the 3rd Annual Breastfeeding-Friendly Place Awards. Three Oakland County organizations were awarded top prize in their respective category for taking extra steps to support breastfeeding mothers.
The award recipients are:
• Business Category – Pee Wee Patch in Lake Orion
• Pediatrician Category – Serenity Pediatrics in Bloomfield Hills
• Employer Category – South Oakland Shelter in Lathrup Village
“Organizations that support breastfeeding help lessen social stigma, and create an environment that is reassuring and open,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County Health Division. “Reducing breastfeeding barriers encourages mothers to start and continue breastfeeding, to the best of their ability, as the primary feeding method for their child.”
Nominations were submitted by employees, patients, or customers during the submission period (March 1-April 28), and then scored by WIC staff and members of the Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition using the Health Division’s appraisal questionnaire. The questionnaire indicates an organization’s existing breastfeeding-friendly practices such as having a written policy in support of breastfeeding at the workplace and a quiet, private space for breastfeeding moms. Winners received plaques to commemorate the honor, and all nominated organizations were recognized with a certificate for their efforts.
Breastmilk helps keep babies healthy by:
• Supplying all necessary nutrients in proper proportions
• Protecting against diseases, infections, allergies, and obesity
• Being easily digested – reduced constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach
Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes and certain cancers such as breast cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They may find it easier to return
to their pre-pregnancy weight. Plus, breastfeeding strengthens the bond between mother and child. Mothers who are able to pump while at work and continue to breastfeed their infants miss fewer days of work on average than those who are formula feeding.
“We are proud to support these nominated organizations that are taking extra steps to encourage breastfeeding wherever people may play, work, or visit.” Jennifer Day, Chairperson of Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition. “They are helping to create a baby-friendly community and deserve to be recognized.”
The Oakland County WIC program has a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor with specialized training to provide education and support to clients. To reach the Oakland County WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, call 248-431-1403.
For more information regarding breastfeeding, call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533, visit www.oakgov.com/health. Find up to date public health information on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @publichealthOC.
August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and the celebration kicks off with World Breastfeeding Week. This annual celebration is held every year from the 1st -7th of August in more than 120 countries, and promotes breastfeeding as one of the most effective steps a mother can take to protect the health of her baby. For more information, please visit http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org.