Health department promotes breastfeeding

Health department promotes breastfeeding "Increasing breastfeeding rates to improve infant and family health in South Dakota is a Department of Health goal," said Clay County Community Health Nurse Marcy Lund.

Breastmilk provides the best nutrition for infants, protects against specific infections, diseases and allergies, and also enhances growth, brain development and physical development. Additionally, it promotes maternal and infant bonding, which can mean a happier and closer family.

Lower health costs and reduced employer costs can result from the health benefits of breastfeeding. Parents don't have to take as much time off from work if their child is sick less due to the immunity provided by breast milk. Another benefit that breastfeeding provides to society is less waste and pollution. No factory is necessary to produce mom's milk and there is no container to throw away.

Aug. 1-7 was proclaimed World Breastfeeding Week in South Dakota by Gov. William J. Janklow to recognize its importance as a health issue. Participants in the observance are the members of the South Dakota Breastfeeding Coalition which includes the Department of Health, SDSU Cooperative Extension Service, the Indian Tribal Organization WIC Programs, Northern Plains Healthy Start, Early Head Start, LaLeche League, Sioux Valley Hospital, McKennan Hospital, Rapid City Regional Hospital, SDSU College of Nursing, USD School of Medicine, Sacred Heart Medical Clinic, independent lacation consultants and practicing physicians.

To learn more about breastfeeding resources, contact the Clay County Community Health Services at 677-6767 or 677-6760. Breastfeeding information is also available on the Department of Health web site at http//www.state.sd.us/doh/

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