Chucking the formula bottle in favor of breastfeeding is one of the best things mothers can do for their babies, according to a proclamation signed by Laurinburg Mayor Tommy Parker on Wednesday.
Declaring August “World Breastfeeding Month” in Laurinburg, the proclamation touts the benefits of “exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding, along with the addition of appropriate complementary feeding at six months and beyond.”
According the proclamation, “breast milk is physiologically tailored to meet infants’ maturing digestive systems, ensuring proper growth and development.”
And the health benefits go far beyond early life, says Tammy Myatt, Lactation Consultant at Scotland Health Care System. “Poor feeding practices can lead to malnutrition and obesity and contribute to an overall decline in the health and welfare of the population,” Myatt said.
Citing research, Myatt said that infants who are not exclusively breastfed during the first six months of life are more likely to develop a number of chronic and acute diseases. “Ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and respiratory illness,” are among the conditions that babies not properly breastfed are more likely to suffer from according to Myatt.
Myatt also noted that the road to lifelong health is not one traveled by mothers and babies alone.
“While breastfeeding is a learned behavior, it is important to remember that the journey to successful breastfeeding begins with support of families, health care providers, governments, employers and communities,” Myatt said.
Joining Myatt in praising breastfeeding at the proclamation signing were WIC Program Director Cardra Burns and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Priscilla Bryant.
“Breastfeeding decreases chronic diseases and makes for, in general, healthier people,” said Burns.
In honor of the 10th anniversary of the World Health Organization and UNICEF’s “Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding” the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7.
Described as a “road map toward a renewed commitment to exclusive breastfeeding beginning the first hour after birth,” the Global Strategy along with information about World Breastfeeding Week can be found at ILCA.org.
To learn about the breastfeeding support offered at Scotland Health Care System, contact Tammy Myatt at 910-291-7810.