Spokane Regional Health District supports ninth annual celebration, Aug 1-7;
agency will host Big Latch On events Aug. 3 at several locations
SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) announced today that during the week of Aug 1-7, 2018, it will again celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, an annual event that draws attention to the positive health impacts of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers.
On Friday, Aug. 3, breastfeeding mothers and supporters are welcome to join breastfeeding peer counselors and other staff from the health district’s Women, Infant and Children (WIC) nutrition program at one of several Big Latch On events. The events will be held at approximately 10:25 a.m. at these SRHD WIC locations:
Downtown - 1101 W. College
Valley – 12213 E. Broadway
North – 5901 N. Lidgerwood
During the Big Latch On events, Spokane’s breastfeeding mothers will nurse their children simultaneously with numerous moms from all around the world. The Big Latch On helps focus international attention on communities’ efforts to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion. Locally, WIC staff will also be giving away World Breastfeeding Week gifts and raffling off prizes.
This year's World Breastfeeding Week theme, Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life highlights how breastfeeding prevents hunger and malnutrition in all its forms and ensures food security for babies, even in times of crises. With no additional burden on household income, breastfeeding is a low-cost way of feeding babies and contributes to poverty reduction.
“Spokane County has its share of poverty and inequities, but there is hope in knowing that the simple act of breastfeeding can improve the health and financial situations of our families. Breastfeeding truly is the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers,” said Kyle Unland, SRHD Health Promotion division director. “Public health recognizes the important role breastfeeding plays in a thriving community and fully supports efforts to increase nursing initiation and duration.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, both babies and mothers gain many benefits from breastfeeding. Human milk provides the most complete form of nutrition for infants. Breast milk is easy to digest and offers breastfeeding infants protection against bacterial and viral infections. Research indicates that women who breastfeed may have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers.
In Spokane County, 93.3 percent of infants are initially breastfed at birth—this is significantly lower than that of Washington state. WIC is working to improve these stats by giving women equal access to breastfeeding education and support.
“Although a vast majority of WIC families are starting with breastfeeding, duration rates are impacted by a mother’s ability to breastfeed in the workplace,” continued Unland. “Our community should applaud and recognize employers who are family/parent/baby-friendly and mother-friendly—those who actively facilitate and support employed women to continue breastfeeding their children.”
Worldwide, more than 170 countries celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Health agencies like SRHD organize activities to help spread awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and the risks of not breastfeeding.
In addition to the health district’s WIC program and its support of breastfeeding moms, SRHD developed a Worksite Wellness toolkit that offers tips for breastfeeding-supportive workplaces. The health district also has a Wellness Committee that includes worksite breastfeeding support as one of its initiatives.
For more information about SRHD’s support of World Breastfeeding Week or its planned activities, contact Kristine Brewer, WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Lead, 323-2806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and ideas for how to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2018, visit worldbreastfeedingweek.org. More information about WIC and SRHD can be found at srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community.