Friday, April 4, 2014

Breastfeeding awareness kicks off National Public Health Week

The United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA) joins the American Public Health Association (APHA) in celebrating National Public Health Week April 7-11, 2014.  APHA unites communities throughout the U.S. each April to observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues important to improving our nation.  This year's theme is "Public Health: Start Here," and each day of the week highlights a different important initiative our nation can take to promote public health and prevention. 
 
National Public Health Week kicks off by celebrating "Be Healthy From the Start" on Monday, April 7.  According to APHA, breastfeeding our children is one of the primary ways our nation can be healthy from the start.  APHA encourages communities to educate new or soon-to-be mothers about breastfeeding and work with local businesses to set up breastfeeding centers for their employees. 

According to APHA, "breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first year of a child's life, and exclusively for the first six months.  Longer lifetime durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risks of maternal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, longer durations of breastfeeding are associated with decreased risk of many common childhood infections and sudden infant death syndrome, as well as chronic conditions in offspring such as obesity, Type 1 diabetes, and leukemia."  Please click here to view APHA's complete list of recommendations for Monday's "Be Healthy From the Start" day of National Public Health Week.   

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