|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2021|
SAN DIEGO—National Breastfeeding Awareness Month (NBM) is observed annually to raise awareness to address barriers to human milk feeding faced by families across the United States and around the world. The theme for this years’ breastfeeding month is “Every Step of the Way” and each week therein is celebrated with a different theme to encourage support and reduce breastfeeding/chestfeeding disparities.
The first week of August is celebrated as World Breastfeeding Week, the second week is celebrated as Indigenous Milk Medicine Week, the third week is celebrated as Asian American Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Week, and the last week of August is celebrated as Black Breastfeeding Week.
Today, Chair Fletcher and all the members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors commend the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition (SDCBC) for its outstanding commitment to protect, promote and support lactation in our region and therefore, declare August 2021 to be “San Diego County Breastfeeding Month” throughout San Diego County. The proclamation was presented by Supervisor Lawson-Remer.
Angeles Nelson, SDCBC President, points out that “The Pandemic has exacerbated persistent racial, geographic and socioeconomic disparities in breastfeeding rates in our region and it is essential —and a shared responsibility— to support and invest in optimal breastfeeding practices to address those disparities and to ensure every baby in San Diego has the opportunity to receive the best nutrition, establishing a healthy weight and reducing the risk of chronic disease.”
Research suggests that breastfeeding/chestfeeding is a key factor in reducing the risk of disease for both the lactating individual and infant, including respiratory illness, ear infections, allergies, some cancers and even thought to provide some immunological protection against COVID-19.
A recent publication by the California Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Association and UC Davis highlights that in 2018, San Diego County’s average exclusive breastfeeding rate was 79% but, there was a marked difference (~17%) in these rates among different racial and ethnic groups. Ensuring an effective network of care and provision of support at every level can help reduce barriers, and ultimately, assist the lactating dyad achieve breastfeeding/chestfeeding goals.
To help raise awareness of the benefits of human milk feeding, the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition has long championed the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding/chestfeeding in the region through its advocacy, education and community programs. Additionally, The County of San Diego is committed to supporting efforts to uplift breastfeeding/chestfeeding through the work of Public Health Services and implementing system changes.
For more information about breastfeeding/chestfeeding, visit the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition Website: https://breastfeeding.org/ or call the Warmline: 1-800-371-MILK
About the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition: The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition (SDCBC) is a non-profit organization consisting of community members, organizations, professionals, and volunteers dedicated to promoting and supporting breastfeeding in San Diego County. SDCBC publishes an annual Breastfeeding Resource Guide, a lactation Warmline, and offers educational events throughout the year.
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