Health System Recognizes World Breastfeeding Week

BRUNSWICK, Georgia: Aug. 5, 2008 – World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is Aug. 1-7 and celebrates the signing of the Innocenti Declaration, produced and adopted in 1990 by participants at the WHO/UNICEF meeting on Breastfeeding in the 1990s: A Global Initiative on the Protection, Promotion, and Support of Breastfeeding. The document lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals. World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in 120 countries on various dates.

Southeast Georgia Health System supports breastfeeding by offering breastfeeding classes, inpatient and outpatient consults, a breastfeeding warmline, and a weekly mothers group.

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) calls for increased support for mothers striving to achieve the gold standard of infant feeding. The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends breastfeeding infants exclusively for six months, and continue breastfeeding together with other appropriate complementary foods up to one year and beyond.

The support a mother receives can be as formal as a visit to a health care professional or as informal as a reassuring smile from another mother. Support comes from professional and lay sources—health professionals, hospital and maternity facility staff and policies, midwives, lactation consultants, mother support groups, friends, and family.

Communities and health systems benefit from breastfeeding through:

  • Decreased costs of treating infections, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases
  • Decreased costs of time off work by mothers of sick children
  • Less environmental impact of landfills for disposal of cans and packaging
  • Reduced cost of breast milk substitutes.

To learn more about the breastfeeding programs offered by the Health System, call (912) 466-3184 or visit www.sghs.com.