City of Sarasota to proclaim 2nd Annual Sarasota Breastfeeding Awareness Week

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The City of Sarasota is proclaiming the first week of August as Sarasota Breastfeeding Awareness Week for the second consecutive year. Commissioner Susan Chapman will present the Proclamation at the booth of the Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc. at the Downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market on Saturday, August 3rd at 11:15am.

Sarasota Breastfeeding Awareness Week coincides with World Breastfeeding Week, celebrated worldwide August 1-7, 2013. The 2013 World Breastfeeding Week theme, Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers, highlights the importance of providing support to breastfeeding families.

“Breastfeeding Awareness Week promotes a safe, reliable source of nutrition for infants, adapting over time to meet the changing needs of the growing infant and building a strong emotional connection between the mother and her child, a bond which lasts a lifetime,” said Commissioner Chapman.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that at infants are breastfed, with no supplements given, for at least the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding is proven to give babies the best start in life, providing optimal nutrition while also strengthening the immune system and nurturing maternal-child bonding. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to have: ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, and bacterial infections. Breastfeeding is also beneficial for the mother, as it helps return the uterus to a normal size after pregnancy, prevents anemia, and reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and osteoporosis.

The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc. is also celebrating with its 8th Annual World Breastfeeding Week Door Decorating Contest. Local businesses, organizations and healthcare facilities are invited to decorate an office door that is visible to the public with a message that promotes or supports breastfeeding. This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers” highlighting Breastfeeding Peer Counseling. Judging takes place the week of August 5th and winners will be announced the week of August 12th. Contest winners will be published in the September/October issue of Mommy Magazine and featured on the Healthy Start website.

Finally, the Coalition and its community taskforce, the Breastfeeding Advocates of Sarasota County, have initialized a new program to support breastfeeding friendly businesses, healthcare providers, childcare centers, and other organizations in our community. Look for the “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” decal in the window to know that you’re walking into a business that supports the right to breastfeeding, and will provide a safe space for a mother and her baby to comfortably nurse.

For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, to enter the door decorating contest, or request information about becoming part of the “Breastfeeding Friendly Sarasota” initiative, visit the Healthy Start website.