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Department of Public Health Promotes Breastfeeding Month

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health is pleased to announce that hospitals across the state are putting moms first an increase in the number of hospitals supporting breastfeeding in 2017.

The Texas Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which helps fund and manage these programs, is celebrating the growing efforts as part of National Breastfeeding Month. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding has proven to increase the number of women breastfeeding and the duration they breastfeed, as well as reduce racial and ethnic disparities. These designations have led to an increase in support of the 87% of Texas WIC moms who now initiate breastfeeding. That’s among the highest rate in the nation.

In El Paso, 89% of WIC moms initiated breastfeeding. The medical community is partnering with WIC and supporting moms’ efforts to give their babies what’s best. That’s right in line with the theme of National Breastfeeding Month, which is Strength through Support.

“El Paso’s University Medical Center received Baby Friendly USA designation in July 2015, and the WIC program staff has been providing direct services at UMC by assisting moms and babies with breastfeeding education and electric breast pumps before discharge,” said Bertha Amaya, WIC Director. “Our moms want to breastfeed, and these hospitals are doing a better job at helping them succeed.”

Breastfed babies have a lower risk of stomach problems, infections, and being hospitalized for pneumonia and meningitis. Breastfed babies also have lower risk of childhood leukemia, as well as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension later in life.

The WIC Program will be celebrating National Breastfeeding month with the following events:

  • Breastfeeding Awareness Month Proclamation – August 8 – Regular City Council Meeting
  • Big Latch On Event – August 5, 9 am-10:30 am – Bassett Center Mall
  • WIC Super Splash-a-thon at Grandview Spray Park – August 12, 9 am – 12 pm – 3100 Jefferson Avenue
  • Superpower Photo Booth Event in August at 12 WIC centers during normal hours of operation

For more information, please call 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com or www.EPSalud.com.

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