By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is Aug. 1-7 and the EBCI WIC Program hosted a Breastfeeding Awareness Celebration on Wednesday, July 31 at the Acquoni Expo Center. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is helping to celebrate WBW in over 174 countries with this year’s theme, “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers”.
Georganna Cogburn, MS, RD, LDN, IBCLC, Buncombe County WIC director, was the keynote speaker for Wednesday’s event. “Our goal…is to support our moms with breastfeeding.”
She related that there are numerous health benefits for the babies including decreased risks of stomach viruses, respiratory illnesses and ear infections and long-term decreased risks of obesity and type 2 diabetes. “If you’re doing something to protect your child, that’s a very good start.”
“It’s protective for the mom as well,” she said relating that mothers who breastfeed see a decreased risk of uterine cancer, breast cancer and type 2 diabetes.
In addition to the health benefits, Cogburn related that breastfeeding can save around $1,500 a year in food costs. “We’re wanting a healthier future for our mom and babies.”
Jerry White was at Wednesday’s event with her one-year-old son Joey Panther whom she has breastfed since birth. “It worked good with him. He took right to it. He’s been a healthy, healthy baby.”
Tina Hornbuckle, EBCI WIC breastfeeding peer counselor, related, “We are here for the new moms and try to be supportive of them. This isn’t just a job, I love and care about them as a person.”
WABA chairperson Dr. Felicity Savage said in a statement, “Peer counseling is a cost effective way to make skilled help available to mothers, and enables mothers to have more support than health professionals alone can provide. Peer counselors, or peer supporters, are usually women from the community who are trained to support breastfeeding, regardless of their educational background.”
For more information on World Breastfeeding Week, visit www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org.