KANE COUNTYâ€”The Kane County Health Department supports World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1 through Aug. 7, as a way to increase awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding.
The Kane County Breastfeeding Coalition is a group composed of lactation consultants, nutritionists, nurses and educators who are working on a unified, county-wide message that â€œBreast milk is more than just food.â€
The coalition has developed posters, buttons and bookmarks to initiate conversation and education regarding the message for parents and providers alike. The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2009 is â€œBreastfeeding: A vital emergency response. Are you ready?â€
Its objectives are:
â€¢ To draw attention to the vital role that breastfeeding plays in emergencies worldwide.
â€¢ To stress the need for active protection and support of breastfeeding before and during emergencies.
â€¢Â To inform mothers, breastfeeding advocates, communities, health professionals, governments, aid agencies, donors and the media on how they can actively support breastfeeding before and during an emergency.
â€¢Â To mobilize action and nurture networking and collaboration between those with breastfeeding skills and those involved in emergency response.
The Kane County Breastfeeding Coalition was formed in recognition that parents in Kane County needed more information and more support in making choices about feeding their new babies.
Children are the most vulnerable in emergenciesâ€”child mortality can soar from 2 to 70 times higher than average due to diarrhea, respiratory illness and malnutrition.
Breastfeeding is a life saving intervention and protection is greatest for the youngest infants. Emergency preparedness is vital.
Supporting breastfeeding in non-emergency settings will strengthen mothersâ€™ capacity to cope in an emergency. More information is available at worldbreastfeedingweek.org.