Manatee County moms encouraged to use resources of World Breastfeeding Week

08/05/11 Andrea Lypka
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World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated this week in more than 170 countries across the world. Breastfeeding advocates in Bradenton informed the community on the benefits of breastfeeding and community resources.

Manatee County's Women Infants & Children's Office (WIC) offers a special nutrition program and counseling for breastfeeding mothers like Delia Dardon.

“For me it was a big help. Even though I did not get to breastfeed my first daughter as much because I did not apply for WIC. I was living in New Jersey at that time. Since I got here, everybody is pushing you to breastfeed and how important it is for the baby,” Dardon said.

Though she got support from her breastfeeding counselor in Bradenton, it hurt to take the first step.

“Even though it was painful because I was getting wounds and infections related to breastfeeding, I eventually went through the process,” Dardon said.

Dardon thanks the support she received from Katie Powers, a board-certified lactation consultant and perinatal educator at Manatee Memorial Hospital’s Family BirthPlace. Powers encourages women to stick to breastfeeding.

“Please, breast feed that baby those first three days because guess what? The more you nurse, the sooner you are back into your clothes. So you just have to cope an attitude with that baby and say hey, you made my uterus big, now let’s make it small,” Powers said.

According to a study last year in the journal Pediatrics, if 90 percent of babies were breastfed for six months, we would save $13 billion per year in health care costs.

Débora D. Castañón, Nutrition Educator and Breastfeeding Coordinator at Florida Department of Health-WIC, says that in Manatee County more mothers are breast feeding.

“75.8 percent of our clientele are breast feeding. We are above state average for initiation rates for breast feeding,” Castañón said. She adds the state average in breast feeding initiation rate is 72 percent.

“So we are very pleased with that and we want to encourage Manatee County mothers to continue breastfeeding, which is what we recommend together in conjunction with the Academy of Pediatrics, they are recommending at least one year of fully breast feeding,” she said.

Castañón says the lack of breast feeding poses health concerns for both the mother and the child.

“This includes diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, obesity which is really going up pretty high so definitely, we can make a better choice for our infants and we can prevent those types of diseases that are affecting our community,” she said.

Manatee County mothers can contact counselors at the newly established Breastfeeding Peer Counseling program at 941-748-0747, ext. 1394.

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)

Manatee County's Women Infants & Children's Office (WIC)

World Breastfeeding Week in the U.S.

Breastfeeding Report Card—United States, 2011

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