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David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Breaking Down Barriers to Breastfeeding

World Breastfeeding Week asserts the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.

For every mother I’ve ever talked to over the years, one of the important things I’ve learned is every journey to motherhood is different. It’s never, ever as simple as “Woman meets man and they have a child”.

But one of the first things any new mom decides is simple, but oh so important: how to feed her child.

Moms choosing breastfeeding make an investment in their baby’s future. Breastfeeding allows them to make the perfect food for their baby. That food gives their child a healthy start that will last a lifetime.

The New Mexico Department of Health and partners statewide are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week. The celebration encourages breastfeeding, which improves the health of babies and mothers around the world.

“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.”

A rising number of New Mexico moms are getting the idea. The recently released 2014 CDC Breastfeeding Report Card shows New Mexico improving in three categories over the last year: Breastfeeding at six months, breastfeeding at 12 months and exclusively breastfeeding at three months.

In fact, we’re above the US averages of moms’ breastfeeding at 12 months and exclusively at three months.

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.”

Most women in the United States are aware that breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for most infants, but many face multiple and complex barriers that keep them from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals.

Negative attitudes and practices of the mother's closest support network can pose a sizeable barrier, making it difficult for mothers and babies to successfully breastfeed. Learning how to breastfeed takes time and patience for new mothers and infants, and appropriate breastfeeding help can build a mother's confidence.

Many of those lessons can be learned today at the Las Cruces Public Health Office at 1170 N. Solano Drive. It’s there the local Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program will host their World Breastfeeding Week celebration for 1:30-4:30 p.m. WIC will provide breastfeeding education, of course, but they’ll also have students from Olympian University of Cosmetology come and pamper the moms with free hair styling and polish their nails. The event is educational, fun and free and open to the public.

Breastfeeding mothers supported by WIC may receive educational materials, peer counselor support, an enhanced food package, breast pumps, and other supplies. Breastfeeding mothers are also eligible to participate in WIC longer than non-breastfeeding mothers.

For more information on WIC services in New Mexico visit the Women, Infants and Children section of our website. Additional information on World Breastfeeding Week can be found at the World Breastfeeding Week website.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.