August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month and DHEC’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program wants you to recognize how breastfeeding fits into public health. Breastfeeding is good for both infants and mothers.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. Breastfeeding provides all the nutrients a baby needs for healthy growth and development.
It is proven breastfeeding promotes health, prevents disease, and contribute to reducing health inequalities by giving babies a healthier start at the beginning of their lives. As an infant grows, breast milk changes to meet the infant’s nutritional needs.
Breastfeeding can also help protect the infant and mother against certain illnesses and diseases:
|Decrease Risks to Infants||Decrease Risks to Mothers|
|Asthma Obesity Type 1 diabetes Severe lower respiratory disease Acute otitis media (ear infections) Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting) Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for preterm infants||Breast cancer Ovarian cancer Type 2 diabetes High blood pressure|
Every woman’s breastfeeding journey is different, so you may experience some challenges. If you do, just remember it’s okay to ask for help.
A WIC breastfeeding expert is trained to help you overcome breastfeeding challenges. Your family and friends can help, too. With a little time, patience, and support, you can overcome breastfeeding challenges and meet your goals.
WIC is part of the Bureau of Community Nutrition Services.
Our state’s regions have spent this month celebrating National Breastfeeding Month in clinics statewide. Check out some of the bulletin boards and other events our health clinics held to raise awareness for breastfeeding here.
Don’t forget you can learn more about breastfeeding by visiting our WIC breastfeeding page.