As part of World Breastfeeding Week, August 1 - 7, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) is recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding for infants and their mothers.
“We want everyone to know how valuable breastfeeding is to the health and well-being of our youngest residents,” said DBCH Commissioner A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH. “We need to bring attention to the important long-term health benefits gained through breastfeeding for both mother and child.”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in addition to providing the healthiest start for an infant, breastfeeding also promotes a unique emotional connection between mother and baby. The Centers for Disease Control reiterates breastfeeding is an investment in health, reducing the risk of asthma, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, ear and respiratory infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in infants, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, ovarian and breast cancer in mothers.
Studies recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of life. Continual breastfeeding is recommended to 12 months of age as solid foods are introduced, and thereafter as long as mother and baby wish.
Some babies learn to breastfeed more easily than others. Having the support of other family members, such as fathers and grandparents, can help mothers establish successful breastfeeding, during those first early days. Expectant families are encouraged to discuss their breastfeeding plan with their healthcare provider and attend a breastfeeding class during their pregnancy. Dutchess County offers breastfeeding education & support, provided by certified lactation counselors and nurses in the DBCH’s Public Health Nursing program. For more information, please call (845) 486-3419 or email HealthInfo@DutchessNY.gov.