Throughout the week ahead and continuing for the duration of the month of August, South Dakota joins the nation and world in celebrating and supporting World Breastfeeding Awareness Week (August 1-7) and National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.
“When it comes to feeding infants, breastfeeding offers many substantial health benefits to the baby ,” stated Joan Adam, Secretary of the Department of Health. “While it isn’t the solution for every situation, it’s the best way to provide beneficial nutrients to babies at these earliest stages.”
The South Dakota Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is committed to supporting breastfeeding mothers by providing nutritious food, breast pumps, and education. The program offers access to mom-to-mom support through peer counselors and professional support through WIC Designated Breastfeeding Experts. The WIC program provides individualized nutrition education, nutritious foods, and support to help their family lead a healthy lifestyle while empowering moms to be the best moms they can be, and to connect them with care and healthy living programs and services.
“The majority of new mothers want to breastfeed, but face barriers,” added Secretary Adam. “Long-term breastfeeding success requires a strong support system from everyone in our South Dakota communities – fathers, families, childcare, employers, healthcare providers, schools, churches, businesses, and community members.”
The South Dakota Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Pledge is one-way communities can support breastfeeding mothers. Over 700 worksites across the state have taken the online pledge at www.healthysd.gov/breastfeeding. All pledged businesses display a Breastfeeding Welcome Here window cling to publicly show their support.
Ten local DOH offices received the annual WIC Breastfeeding Gold Award of Excellence awarded by The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the US Department of Agriculture for outstanding breastfeeding promotion and support. These offices included Huron, Lake Andes, Watertown, Milbank, Britton, Eureka, Gettysburg, Sisseton, Lemmon, and Elk Point.
To learn more about breastfeeding, contact your local South Dakota Department of Health office at https://doh.sd.gov/local-offices/child-family-services or visit sdwic.org.