The Santa Rosa County Health Department is observing Aug. 1-7 as National Breastfeeding Week. The slogan for this year’s observance is “Breastfeeding Support: Stay Connected.”
New mothers who are breastfeeding are encouraged to reach out and connect with peer counselors and breastfeeding professionals for answers to their questions. One of those professionals is Jen Ward, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with the Santa Rosa County Health Department’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program. Ward teaches monthly breastfeeding classes at the health department’s Milton location at 5527 Stewart Street.
“Many new mothers have concerns about breastfeeding, especially with their first baby,” said Barb McMillion, RN, director of nursing for the Santa Rosa County Health Department. “We’re fortunate to have a board certified lactation consultant that can address those concerns and help them breastfeed successfully.”
Breastfeeding for at least the first six months can have significant health benefits. Breast milk is easy to digest and the rates of ear and respiratory infections are lower in babies that are breastfed. For more information about IBCLCs, visit the ILCA website at www.ILCA.org.
It is recommended that women who plan to breastfeed attend a class during the last trimester of their pregnancy. For information on classes available at the Santa Rosa County Health Department, call the WIC office at 850-983-5250, ext. 117.