The Florida Department of Health in Lake County is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week from August 1-7. This year’s theme is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”.

August 1st also kicked off National Breastfeeding Month. Native Breastfeeding Week and Black Breastfeeding Week also take place within the month.  These events are celebrated locally, nationally and globally each August. Each event seeks to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies and women by presenting timely, targeted messages. The department is working to promote breastfeeding as a vital health activity and encourages breastfeeding-friendly hospitals, childcare facilities, workplaces and communities.

Research shows:

  • Breastfed infants have a reduced risk of infections, asthma, obesity and SIDS compared with formula-fed infants;
  • Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression compared to mothers who don’t breastfeed; and
  • It’s estimated that $13 billion would be saved per year, if 90 percent of U.S. infants were breastfed exclusively for six months.

“The Department has partnered with local hospitals in encouraging and supporting mothers to breastfeed, which has resulted in achieving an increased WIC breastfeeding initiation rate in Lake County of 82.4%”, says Mary Stickney, WIC Director with the Florida Department of Health in Lake County.

Local WIC agencies offer resources and staff to help breastfeeding mothers. WIC agencies may have International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants who have a high level of specialized knowledge in breastfeeding to assist clients. WIC agencies also have Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Programs. The trained peer counselors are chosen from the same socio/economic/ethnic groups as WIC clients and have successfully breastfed their own babies. Breastfeeding peer counselors provide mother-to-mother basic breastfeeding education and support to pregnant and breastfeeding moms. For more information about the Florida WIC program call 1-800-342-3556 or visit

Healthiest Weight Florida within the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention, in partnership with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Healthy Start, and the Florida Child Care Food Program, has a variety of tools available for mothers and families, as well as employers, childcare facilities, and hospitals and health care professionals. Visit for more information.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


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