August Declared Breastfeeding Awareness Month In Michigan

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

August 7, 2006

To coincide with World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has declared August as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Michigan.

“Breast milk contains the perfect amount of nutrients and is easiest for the baby to digest,” said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. “It also serves as a great bonding opportunity for mother and child.”

In 2004, 68 percent of newborns in Michigan received breast milk, but only 33 percent of infants received breast milk at six months. In addition to having healthier babies, women that breastfeed also shed post-partum weight faster and reduce their risk of certain types of reproductive cancers.

To reach the goal of having all infants breastfed their first year of life, more awareness and support is needed throughout the community, workplace, family, and health care settings. Communities can establish breastfeeding-friendly atmospheres by providing clean and comfortable places for women to breastfeed or express their milk.

The Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC), in collaboration with Michigan State University Extension, has provided extra assistance to participating breastfeeding mothers through mother-to-mother support, referrals to breastfeeding specialists, and furnishing a breast pump to mothers returning to work or school. Women can find out if they qualify by contacting their local WIC agency or by calling 1(800) 26-BIRTH.

In honor of Michigan Breastfeeding Awareness Month, World Breastfeeding Week, and the 50th anniversary of the La Leche League, the following events are being held around the state:

August 12 (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Delta County La Leche League Chapter annual walk for breastfeeding and festivities Ludington Park, Escanaba

August 23 (6 p.m.)

Muskegon La Leche League Chapter picnic and walk along the beach Kruse Picnic Pavilion

August 26 (Noon)

Grand Rapids La Leche League Chapter potluck picnic on the hilltop of John Ball Park

Aug. 28-Sept. 4

Chippewa County WIC will have a breastfeeding display at the Chippewa County Fair Sault Ste. Marie