August is World Breastfeeding Month and the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) is celebrating by sponsoring a “Going for the Gold: Breastfeeding is Best Feeding,” walk/run. This family friendly event will take place from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3 at Georgetown San Gabriel Park.
The walk/run will start on the 1.6 mile San Gabriel Trail at 9 a.m. Participants of walk/run are asked to come early to register. Medals will be given to those coming in at first, second, and third place and all participants will be eligible to win prizes. Water and snacks will be provided.
After the walk, breastfeeding information and demonstrations will be provided by WCCHD breastfeeding peer counselors. Breastfeeding peer counselors are WIC mothers who have breastfed at least one child and have gone through extensive training. Peer counselors and other WIC staff offer services at all the WIC clinics and provide phone consultation as needed.
WCCHD will also provide information on the Healthcare Helpline, Immunizations, and WIC eligibility.
Support of breastfeeding moms and breastfeeding resources have increased in recent years. However, there are still moms that do not breastfeed or stop breastfeeding because of the lack of support from family, friends, healthcare providers, and the public. Tina Horkey, RD, LD, WCCHD WIC Division Director says, “It is not enough to help a mother initiate breastfeeding, the mother and baby need an environment that can help them sustain breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics and many other health organizations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.”
- Breastfeeding brings many benefits to the community. Here are a few examples.
- Breastfeeding saves on health care costs. Breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.
- Breastfeeding contributes to a more productive workforce. Breastfeeding mothers miss less work because their infants are sick less often.
- Breastfeeding is best for the environment. Breastfeeding creates less trash and plastic waste than formula feeding.
Besides breastfeeding support, WIC provides nutrition education and nutritious foods for pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women as well as infants and children less than five years of age. WCCHD is proud that our WIC mothers breastfeed at a greater rate than is required under state standards for WIC programs.
WIC staff know and teach moms to Surround Yourself with Loving Support. In August, WIC clinics throughout the state will refer to this theme as a way to promote breastfeeding success—for mom, babies, and the community.
If you are interested in becoming a breastfeeding peer counselor, would like more information about the WCCHD WIC program, or World Breastfeeding Month activities, please contact, Tina Horkey at 512-943-3682 or Thorkey@wcchd.org. For more information on the Going for the Gold: Breastfeeding is Best Feeding walk/run contact Shadan Kasiri, 512-260-4241 or 512-943-3680 or SKasiri@wcchd.org.