Healthy Communities Partnership announced today that a new task force has been established in order to promote and encourage breastfeeding in Logan County. The task force is working to make breastfeeding the norm for all babies and for breastfeeding to be celebrated and better accepted in Logan County. Members of the task force include representatives from local healthcare providers including Springfield Clinic, the Logan County Department of Public Health and Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
Research has proven that breastfeeding is best for babies and mothers. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old, and continued breastfeeding with the additional of nutritious complimentary foods for up to two years or beyond. Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding with a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
Breastfeeding rates have continued to rise over the past decade, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percent of babies breastfeeding at six months increased from 35 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2010. The percent of babies breastfeeding at 12 months also increased from 16 percent to 27 percent during that same time period. The data show that babies who started breastfeeding increased from 71 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2010.
“This is great news for the health of our nation because babies who are breastfed have lower risks of ear and gastrointestinal infections, diabetes and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers,” said CDC Director, Tom Frieden, M.D. M.P.H. “Also, breastfeeding lowers health care costs. Researchers have calculated that $2.2 billion in yearly medical costs could be saved if breastfeeding recommendations were met.”
Angela Stoltzenburg, Healthy Communities Partnership manager, was proud to make the announcement.
“The vision of HCP is to make Logan County the healthiest community in America. Breastfeeding is linked to many long-term, positive health outcomes. As we struggle with high rates of diabetes and obesity in Logan County, supporting efforts to make breastfeeding more common in Logan County is absolutely the right thing to do,” said Stoltzenburg.
The breastfeeding task force is also proud to announce that at this year’s Logan County Fair, there will be a breastfeeding station available to nursing moms. Anytime the fair is open nursing moms are invited to visit the First Aid station. The Logan County Department of Public Health has coordinated the space including a comfortable chair provided by Jake’s Furniture.
HCP is funded by the Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation. For more information about HCP or the breastfeeding task force, visit ALMH Community Health Collaborative or call (217) 605.5008.