2014 News Releases

Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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July 31, 2014        Print version

World Breastfeeding Week – August 1-7

The Dutchess County Department of Health reminds families that August 1st-7th is “World Breastfeeding Week” supported by the World Health Organization to promote infant and women’s health worldwide.

“Every new mother should breastfeed her baby exclusively for the first six months, and continue to breastfeed while adding supplementary iron-rich foods during the following six months and longer if possible,” said Commissioner of Health Kari Reiber, MD. “Breast milk changes to meet a baby’s nutritional needs, is easy to digest and provides just the right combination of nutrients and vitamins a baby needs to be healthy.” 

Breastfeeding builds a baby’s immune system; and breastfed babies are less likely to have respiratory tract and ear infections, diarrheal diseases and allergies.  Some studies suggest breastfeeding lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  Formula cannot match the chemical makeup of human breast milk.  Breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for brain development, and later in life breastfed children are less likely to develop dental decay, diabetes and obesity.

Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding as lactation burns calories and helps new mothers lose weight, reduces the risk of complications after child birth, and may help to reduce the risk of postpartum depression. Breastfeeding also lowers the risk for ovarian and some forms of breast cancer and strengthens bones protecting against osteoporosis later in life.

Breastfeeding promotes positive mother-infant bonding and has significant social and economic benefits, since it relieves families from the burden of buying infant formula, requires no preparation, and may reduce medical costs in the long term for both mother and child.  For additional information about the benefits of breastfeeding, visit www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding.

The Dutchess County Department of Health has a certified lactation consultant on staff and also provides breastfeeding education and support at (845) 486-3419. 

The Mid-Hudson Lactation Consortium also works to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration as well as educate and update providers with evidence-based information to help breastfeeding families in the region.  The Consortium maintains a directory of breastfeeding services available by email at mhlcmail@gmail.com.




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A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
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