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Stanislaus WIC celebrates breastfeeding

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Stanislaus WIC celebrates breastfeeding

Attendees of the Stanislaus County WIC’s 2012 celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, held on Aug. 8 in Modesto, get information about the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding.

NANCY ANGEL/209 Health & Wellness

POSTED September 19, 2012 12:51 a.m.

Thousands of women throughout the country gathered together the first of August to protect, support, and promote the importance of their cause — breastfeeding. This year marks the 20th anniversary of World Breastfeeding Week, and the theme for 2012 was “Understanding the Past, Planning the Future.”

The Women and Infants Children program in Stanislaus County joined the collective efforts around the world to promote breastfeeding to mothers by giving them the information they need to become successful breastfeeding advocates in Stanislaus County.

“Every year the WIC program does some time of celebration in honor of World Breastfeeding Week,” said WIC Director Elaine Emery. “Through this event, we recognize our moms that are breastfeeding and providing best nutrition for their infants.”

During WIC’s breastfeeding celebration, WIC clients had the opportunity to check for diabetic screenings, participate in baby weighing stations, fun activity for kids, and receive plenty of breastfeeding information.

“Our events have grown every year,” said Emery.  “We have invited other vendors and other programs that serve our WIC clients.  SNAP-Ed will host a Rethink Your Drink nutrition education booth to highlight efforts in childhood obesity prevention to encourage families to replace high calorie sweetened beverages with water.”

In conjunction with the World Health Organization and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, WIC’s Breastfeeding Celebration ensures every woman is properly nourishing their infants.

“We connect with other breastfeeding advocates to call for action and bridge the remaining gaps in policy and procedures impacting parents’ rights to breastfeed,” added Emery.  “It is important that we raise awareness that the lack of breastfeeding affects the child, mother, community and health care systems.”

WIC is committed to ensuring the pediatric and long-term health of young infants.  Emery recommends that through healthy nutrition, including breastfeeding and improved eating habits as the child grows, the rewards will be substantial.

“WIC strongly encourages the mothers to breastfeed for the first 12 months of a baby’s life; it benefits both children and mothers.  It has been shown that breastfed babies are healthy babies,” she said.

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