Moms, Local Health Department to Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week in Concord
Monday, August 1, 2011
Hundreds of new and expectant mothers are invited to gather in Concord this Thursday to promote the many benefits of breastfeeding. The event will take place at Todos Santos Plaza during the farmers market from 5 to 7 p.m. in recognition of World Breastfeeding Week. It is hosted by the Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program of Contra Costa Health Services' Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program.
Evidence shows that breastfeeding has many benefits for mother and child. Research indicates that breastfeeding reduces an infant's risk for acute and chronic disease, increases mother-infant bonding, fosters growth and development, increases learning ability, and reduces the risk for obesity. Breastfeeding also reduces mothers' risk for type 2 diabetes, and breast and ovarian cancers. A recent Harvard study estimated that the United States would save $13 billion per year if 90% of infants were breastfed exclusively for six months.
Marina Rowoldt, a Registered Dietitian and Senior Public Health Nutritionist at the Concord WIC Clinic, said the goal of the event is to offer support and advice to mothers interested in the benefits of breastfeeding. "While 90% of Contra Costa WIC mothers breastfeed in the hospital, only 41% of Contra Costa WIC mothers are still breastfeeding six months after giving birth," Rowoldt said. "We hope to increase the breastfeeding rate as mothers become aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a simple, natural and proven way to improve a child's long-term health."
WIC and Contra Costa Regional Medical Center will provide information on breastfeeding and nutrition during Thursday's event. Eligible new and expecting mothers will also be invited to participate in the WIC Program.
The Contra Costa County WIC Program invited more than 200 WIC mothers and their families from the WIC clinic in Concord and encourages all mothers to attend as well. "It will be a day of support, a day of learning, and a day to share experiences," Rowoldt said, adding that a limited number of gift bags and farmers market coupons will be available to WIC attendees. All attendees will be able to enjoy the informational booths, farmers market, and live music.
Those unable to attend the event can receive free advice from a lactation consultant by calling the Contra Costa Breastfeeding Advice Line at 1-866-878-7767. Additional breastfeeding resources are available at www.cchealth.org/services/breastfeeding/
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ON THE WEB: http://cchealth.org/services/wic/