SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Governor Pat Quinn declared August as Breastfeeding Promotion Month in the state of Illinois. The proclamation aims to increase public awareness of breastfeeding as the normal and expected way to feed all babies in Illinois.
This year’s theme “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal – For Life!” helps put focus on the lifelong benefits of breastfeeding, for both mother and infant.
“Research has shown there are many benefits of breastfeeding,” said Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler. “Babies who are breastfed are protected against respiratory and ear infections, asthma, allergies, childhood cancer and obesity. Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.”
Breastfeeding events will be held throughout the state, and will include ice cream socials, pool parties, baby fairs and celebrations with games and activities to educate residents about the importance of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding advocates in more than 120 countries worldwide will celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) with the theme “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal - For Life!” Every year millions of people use this opportunity to take action to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
The 2013 CDC Breastfeeding Report Card shows that Illinois breastfeeding rates continue to improve. More than 75 percent of Illinois women breastfeed and almost 50 percent continue to breastfeed at six months.
Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) agencies work with area hospitals to provide seamless support as moms come home from the hospital and transition back to work and school. Through the statewide Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program, moms receive one-on-one support from experienced breastfeeding moms to initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. The “Breastfeeding is Smart Business” program and the Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital Working Group bring together WIC agencies and community advocates to help improve the breastfeeding environment in Illinois as we move to becoming a breastfeeding friendly state.
For more information, please visit www.illinoisbreastfeeding.org.