Maitland, FL, August 07, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Governor Crist has signed a proclamation declaring the whole month of August as Breastfeeding Month in conjunction with the global celebration of World Breastfeeding Week August 1 - 7. Each year since 1992, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) remind women and families of the vital importance of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life and continued breastfeeding with complementary foods thereafter. Following these recommendations can save the lives of about 2 million children around the world each year. Breastfeeding is well recognized by major medical organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association as well as others, as the preferred method of infant feeding throughout the early years of life.
Every citizen should encourage breastfeeding. The risk of not breastfeeding affects every part of our society. Breastfeeding reduces infant mortality and morbidity more than any other intervention, which translates into healthier children who have a greater chance to grow up as healthier adults. Breastfeeding is the most cost-effective way to decrease disease and save healthcare dollars.
Florida has recently formed the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc. to join the efforts of the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The inaugural meeting of key individuals supporting the formation of a statewide breastfeeding coalition was held on April 11, 2008 in Maitland. The attendees from around the state included physicians from three teaching hospitals/state universities, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, Registered Dieticians, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinators and Registered Nurses.
The coalition is a statewide multidisciplinary group of individuals, businesses and organizations with the mission: “to improve the health of Floridians by working collaboratively to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.” As a statewide coalition, it is registered with the CDC and the USBC. This allows it to participate in national training seminars and meetings to assist our state in advocating for legislation, minimizing barriers to breastfeeding, and supporting breastfeeding for healthy mothers and babies/children.
The CDC is tracking state breastfeeding rates and promotion activities and has encouraged the formation of statewide coalitions. The CDC reports information about breastfeeding rates and breastfeeding coalitions in the CDC Breastfeeding Report Card. The 2007 CDC Breastfeeding Report Card shows Florida lower than the national average in breastfeeding duration.
The Florida Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc. is in the process of filing for IRS 501(c)3 and soliciting donations for financial sustainability. It also launched a logo contest open to all Floridians, to learn more about the coalition or the logo contest visit http://www.flbreastfeeding.org.
Governor Crist has signed a proclamation declaring the whole month of August as Breastfeeding Month. Breastfeeding reduces infant mortality and morbidity more than any other intervention and is the most cost-effective way to decrease disease and save healthcare dollars. The Florida Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc. has launched a logo contest to further breastfeeding awareness. For information visit www.flbreastfeeding.org.
For more info about the press release, please contact:
Joan Younger Meek, MD, MS, RD, FAAP, FABM, IBCLC
Academic Chairman, Medical Education Pediatrics
Pediatric Residency Training Program Director
Orlando Health/Arnold Palmer Medical Center
Clinical Associate Professor, Florida State University
86 W. Underwood
Orlando, FL 32806