The health advantages for new mothers that breastfeed their infants and newborns are well documented, and the longer babies are breastfed, the healthier they will be.
Ongoing baby formula shortages have also demonstrated the importance of sustained breastfeeding during those critical developmental stages in a young child’s life.
Increasing breastfeeding awareness and emphasizing those nutritional advantages for breastfed infants and newborns are key components of the annual Breastfeeding Awareness Event from 1 to 4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 26, at the Clark County WIC/Early Childhood Center, 2685 E. High St., Springfield.
The event is hosted as part of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, which is recognized throughout the month of August and is hosted by Clark County Combined Health District – Women, Infants, and Children Division.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about breastfeeding. Vendors and community partners will have breastfeeding items available, and raffles and prizes will also be available. The event is open to pregnant women, mothers that are currently breastfeeding along with their children and support individuals.
The breastfeeding awareness event returns indoors after two years as a drive-thru event.
“We want to see these moms succeed with breastfeeding, and any education or support we can give is really our role,” said Emily Thomas, CCCHD WIC Director.
The event is also an opportunity to present information and raise awareness about other health concerns as well, including the dangers of lead exposure among expectant mothers and their newborns.
Breastfeeding provides the healthiest start for babies. Powdered formulas cannot match the vitamins and minerals in breastmilk, which also provides babies antibodies that can only be passed from a mother to her baby.
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies. As the baby grows, the mother’s breast milk will change to meet her baby’s nutritional needs.
Breastfeeding can help protect babies against some short- and long-term illnesses and diseases. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfed babies are also less likely to have ear infections and stomach bugs.