New Mexico Department of Health Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week
SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico Department of Health’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) clinics around the state will celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Held every year on August 1-7, the event recognizes breastfeeding as the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers.
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme is ‘Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life’ and focuses on informing people how breastfeeding goes hand-in-hand with good nutrition and food security, as well as encouraging more mothers to breastfeed for the health benefits with no additional burden on household income.
“Research shows that infants who are not exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life are more likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, obesity and respiratory illnesses,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding with a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers.”
New Mexico continues to make advancements in breastfeeding rates. The most recent Breastfeeding Report Card, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows New Mexico improving in all categories between 2014 and 2016: Breastfeeding at six months, breastfeeding at 12 months, exclusively breastfeeding at three months, and exclusively breastfeeding at six months. New Mexico is above the U.S. averages of moms’ breastfeeding at 12 months and exclusively at three months.
All major governmental and health organizations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for newborns up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods for up to one year of age or beyond. Families interested in information about the benefits of breastfeeding can contact one of the Department of Health WIC offices around the state.
Applicants who live in New Mexico, meet the program’s income guidelines and who are at nutritional risk qualify to receive lactation education and counseling, food packages, breast pumps, and more. WIC is a federally funded nutrition and education program that provides supplemental food to pregnant and breastfeeding or postpartum women, and infants and children up to five years of age. WIC serves 53 percent of all infants born in the United States.
To learn more about local events at WIC clinics, and local partners statewide visit www.nmwic.org or the New Mexico Breastfeeding Taskforce website at www.breastfeedingnewmexico.org/.