Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is recognizing World and New Hampshire Breastfeeding Week August 1 - 7, 2008. This year’s theme in conjunction with the Olympics focuses on Mother Support: Going for the Gold. The effort calls for greater support for mothers in achieving the gold standard of infant feeding which is breastfeeding exclusively for six months, and providing appropriate complementary foods and continued breastfeeding for up to two years.
“There are numerous health benefits to breastfeeding both for babies and moms,” said DHHS Director of Public Health Services (DPHS) Dr Jose T. Montero. “Breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition a mom can give her baby providing the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein needed for a baby’s growth and development. We want to encourage health professionals to work together in supporting breastfeeding mothers and infants. Support from the medical profession, the community, public health agencies, and employers, as well as within the family, has been shown to make an important difference for new mothers.”
Governor John Lynch has issued a proclamation for New Hampshire Breastfeeding Week encouraging all citizens to join in supporting breastfeeding as an important decision for healthy mothers and babies in our State. In celebration of the event, breastfeeding gift baskets are available for mothers enrolled in the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program.
Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention published a New Hampshire Breastfeeding Report Card. According to that report, New Hampshire breastfeeding rates were higher than national rates in most categories. New Hampshire had a 48.7% 6-month breastfeeding rate, compared to 41.5% nationally. Additionally, New Hampshire had a 27.5% 12-month breastfeeding rate, compared to 20.9% nationally. Exclusive breastfeeding rates at 3-months and 6-months were 34.3% and 13.6% respectively, compared to US rates of 30.5% and 11.3%.
For more information on breastfeeding initiatives in New Hampshire, contact WIC at 603-271-3858, or the NH Breastfeeding Task Force at ww.nhbreastfeedingtaskforce.org, or the International Lactation Consultant Association at www.ilca.org.