PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Pasco, Citrus and Hernando counties and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2022 from August 1-7. This year’s theme is The Breastfeeding Step: Educate and Support.
The Florida Department of Health in Pasco, Citrus and Hernando counties is observing World Breastfeeding Week by participating in the following events:
- The National Breastfeeding Month Kickoff Celebration Event will be held on Tuesday, August 2nd from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at the Regency Branch Library, 9701 Little Rd, New Port Richey, FL. Every Tuesday free of charge Mother and baby breastfeeding support group held at the Regency Branch Library from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.
- A Black Breast Feeding Week celebration will be held on Tuesday, August 30th from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at the Regency Branch Library, 9701 Little Rd, New Port Richey, FL.
- WIC also offers free breastfeeding classes at WIC clinics throughout Pasco County. For an appointment or more information on a breastfeeding or infant feeding class, call 813-364-5818.
- WIC offers an infant feeding line 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. to provide support on topics including breastfeeding, bottle feeding, breast care and pumping from nursing staff. For more information call the infant nutrition line at 352-513-6060.
- The Florida West Coast Breastfeeding Taskforce’s Big Latch On event will be held on Saturday, August 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. This live event is a collaborative effort bringing together Pasco, Citrus and Hernando counties. It will be held at 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd. in Spring Hill, FL. For more information contact: Jennie Rae at 352-540-6800.
- One at no cost Baby and Me Breastfeeding Support Group held every Thursday from 19:00-20:30. Open to the public and facilitated by certified lactation professionals, including a Board Certified International Lactation Consultant. This is held at 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd. Spring Hill, FL. Education is also provided in other areas such as car seat safety, pump flange assembly, infant CPR basics, safe sleep, babywearing, diaper removal and swimming safety.
- A toll-free baby feeding line is available for families to call with questions about breastfeeding and bottle feeding. For more information call, 352-540-6924.
The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2022 encourages everyone to support breastfeeding mothers, their babies and their families by creating a breastfeeding-friendly environment. Breastfeeding protection provides:
- Good health and prevents malnutrition, including undernutrition and overnutrition. Breastfeeding has positive lifelong health effects on babies, children and mothers, such as lower incidence of respiratory infections and ear infections for babies and children and reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer for mothers. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of childhood overweight and obesity compared to formula feeding.
- Food security even in times of crisis. Breastfeeding ensures food security for infants early in life, contributes to food security for the entire family, and ensures food security for infants even in times of domestic or widespread disasters, such as hurricanes.
- Improving the economy and reducing inequalities. Breastfeeding can help break the cycle of poverty for families, which affects hunger and malnutrition. Breastfeeding provides an equal start for everyone. With no additional burden on family income, breastfeeding is a low-cost way to feed infants and contributes to poverty reduction. Breastfeeding can also reduce costs for the health care system and employers by reducing the costs of hospitalizations, medications, and reducing absenteeism.
- A positive impact on the health of the planet in several ways:
- Breast milk is a sustainable and environmentally friendly resource.
- Breastfeeding is readily available without the need for other supplies.
- The production of breast milk does not require the use of energy for production and does not create waste or air pollution.
To protect breastfeeding:
- Promoting the implementation of the Child Friendly Hospital Initiative.
- Provide access to skilled breastfeeding counseling. Studies have shown that breastfeeding promotion interventions increase exclusive breastfeeding rates at 4-6 weeks and at 6 months.
- Encourage employers and communities to promote and protect breastfeeding by posting “We’re here to breastfeed” signs and by providing private areas for breastfeeding if this is a breastfeeding family’s preference.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants for the first year of life and beyond, with the addition of appropriate complementary foods when the infant is developmentally ready, around 6 months of age.
For more information about the Florida WIC program, call 1-800-342-3556 or visit www.FloridaWIC.org. To learn more about breastfeeding initiatives in Florida, visit www.flbreastfeeding.org, or West Coast Breastfeeding Task Force www.flwcbreastfeeding.org. To view the CDC’s Breastfeeding Report Card, visit, Breastfeeding Report Card | Breast feeding | CDC and for more on breastfeeding data, visit HERE.
circle Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @HealthyPasco. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.