KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON - Today, at the start of World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), Public Health — Seattle & King County is stressing the great value of breastfeeding for both mother and child.
"Breast milk is the ideal form of nutrition for babies, has unparalleled health benefits for mother and child, and fosters a special parent-baby relationship," said Dr. Alonzo Plough, Director of Public Health — Seattle & King County.
"Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ear infections, respiratory tract infections, diarrheal diseases and allergies, among numerous other acute and chronic illnesses," said Dr. Nancy Danoff, pediatrician at Eastgate Public Health Center and a member of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for approximately six months and continued breastfeeding for at least one year, and thereafter it recommends breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired.
Since 2001, Washington State law has protected the right of a woman to breastfeed in public by maintaining that breastfeeding or expressing milk is not indecent exposure.
"We praise all employers who are accommodating breastfeeding mothers with flexible hours, as well as safe and convenient areas to pump breast milk," said Plough.
Public Health's website has extensive information for working mothers and employers, pages in English and Spanish, local breastfeeding resources, 14 different breastfeeding fact sheets and a glossary of terms. Visit: www.kingcounty.gov/health/breastfeeding
"We encourage mothers to access the many resources that support breastfeeding in our community. Most breastfeeding problems are easily solved. If a mother has a concern, it's important to get help right away from a lactation expert or a medical provider," said Lisa DiGiorgio, a nutrition consultant at Public Health.
The "Working & Breastfeeding... It's Worth It!" Metro bus sign campaign, which involves Public Health and the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Washington, promotes ways to successfully breastfeed and work. Visit www.hmhbwa.org for information for employers and working mothers. To receive a free packet of this information, call the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Referral Line at 1-800-322-2588.
For more information on World Breastfeeding Week, visit the CDC at: www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/breastfeeding.htm
Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for over 1.8 million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health — Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day.