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Home News World Breastfeeding Week
David Morgan
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World Breastfeeding Week

Breastfeeding: Scoring the winning goal for life!

The New Mexico Department of Health’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) clinics around the state celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, the international celebration now underway and held annually, August 1-7.

The celebration encourages breastfeeding, which improves the health of babies and mothers around the world.

This year's World Breastfeeding Week theme is 'A Winning Goal for Life!’ According to the World Breastfeeding Week website, the theme highlights “the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.”

“Research shows that infants who are not exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life are more likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, obesity and respiratory illnesses,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding with a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers.”

New Mexico continues to make advancements in breastfeeding rates. The recently released 2014 CDC Breastfeeding Report Card shows New Mexico improving in three categories over last year: Breastfeeding at six months, breastfeeding at 12 months and exclusively breastfeeding at three months.

Since 1988, the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force has been collaborating with families, doctors, hospitals, employers, and communities to make breastfeeding the cultural norm.

All major governmental and health organizations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for newborns up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to one year of age or beyond.

Families interested in information about the benefits of breastfeeding can contact one of the Department of Health WIC offices around the state.

Applicants who live in New Mexico, meet the program’s income guidelines and who are at nutritional risk qualify to receive lactation education and counseling, a food package valued at about $65 per month, breast pumps, and mother-to-mother support from a peer counselor. WIC is a federally funded nutrition and education program that provides supplemental food to pregnant and breastfeeding or postpartum women, and infants and children up to five years of age.

To learn more about local events at WIC clinics, and local partners statewide, visit the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force website.

For more information on WIC services in New Mexico visit the Women, Infants and Children section of our website.

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