Wauseon, OH – August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Ohio. This year’s theme is Breastfeeding Protects: Mom, Baby and Earth. The benefits of breastfeeding are so many; and why wouldn’t they be? Breastfeeding is the way we (and other mammals) have been nourishing our young since the beginning of time. If it wasn’t the best way, we probably would’ve been extinct millennia ago.
Breastfeeding is a natural, low cost way of feeding babies. It is affordable for everyone and does not burden household budgets compared to artificial feeding. It contributes to a reduction in poverty. It safeguards the infant’s health and nutrition in times of adversity and weather related disasters due to global warning.
Breastfeeding is ecological compared to formula feeding. Breast milk is a natural, renewable food that is environmentally safe and produced and delivered to the consumer without pollution, packaging, and waste. Formula production and usage generates greenhouse gas emissions which accelerates global warming, produces pollution and toxic emissions from garbage disposal and affects marine life.
In light of the monetary and lifesaving benefits of breastfeeding, all elements of the community should cooperate and support breastfeeding. Ultimately, our whole society benefits when breastfeeding is promoted, protected and supported.
One of the most important things businesses and the community can do is allow mothers to feel comfortable nursing in public. Businesses can place universal “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” signs in their windows. They can also encourage their employees and provide a private place to pump. This will increase employee retention and reduce medical cost. Their employees should be educated on the Breastfeeding Law which has been in place since 2005 and entitles a mother to breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation.
Breastfeeding is a personal choice but communities play a vital role in informing and supporting a mother’s decision to breastfeed her baby. Returning our communities back into a breastfeeding supportive culture will take efforts by family, friends, employers, educational institutions, health
care agencies and businesses.
For more information or support contact your local WIC program at 419-337-6979. For more information you can also visit our website www.fultoncountyhealthdept.com