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FDOH Jackson Celebrates National WIC Breastfeeding Week

By Jackson County Floridan

August 10, 2016

WIC Certified Lactation Counselors

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children has long been an advocate of breastfeeding, supporting breastfeeding mothers for more than 40 years. Therefore, the Florida Department of Health in Jackson County celebrated National Breastfeeding Week, by recognizing the many benefits of breastfeeding.

USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack declared last week, Aug. 1-7, National WIC Breastfeeding Week “in appreciation of breastfeeding mothers and of all the dedicated volunteers, professionals, communities, and  organizations who support their efforts.”

Research has shown that there is no better food than breast milk for a baby’s first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional, economical, and emotional benefits to mother and baby. Since a major goal of the WIC Program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, WIC mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their infants. WIC has historically promoted breastfeeding to all pregnant women as the optimal infant feeding choice, unless medically contraindicated.

Last week, as well as the entire month of August, the WIC staff at the Florida Department of Health in Jackson County will work with renewed energy to raise awareness of the wide array of resources it  provides to support breastfeeding mothers and their babies.  These resources include but are not limited to classes on breastfeeding instruction, free educational materials, a peer-to-peer counseling program, and access to nutritious foods selected specifically to support the health of mom and baby.

Breastfeeding classes are offered by the WIC program on the second Wednesday at 2 p.m. and the fourth Monday at 10 a.m. of each month in the Multipurpose Room of the Florida Department of Health in Jackson County at 4979 Healthy Way in Marianna, and are facilitated by one of the five Certified Lactation Counselors on the WIC staff. Please call 526-2412 ext. 295 for additional information.

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