Vermont celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

Events in southern Vermont and elsewhere are held to support baby health

Vermont Business Magazine As part of World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, the communities of Brattleboro, Springfield and White River Junction will come together to celebrate breastfeeding, breastfeeding and breastfeeding. The annual global celebration will highlight this year’s theme, “Breastfeeding Forward — Educate and Support,” highlighting the idea that we need to restore support systems to pre-pandemic levels and strengthen their capacity.

The Vermont Department of Health supports and encourages breastfeeding because of the important health benefits for both the breastfeeding person and the baby.

In adults, breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and postpartum depression. In addition to the important nutritional and growth benefits, breastfed babies have improved cognitive development and a reduced risk of chronic disease. Breastfed babies also have a reduced risk of severe lower respiratory tract infections, ear infections, and sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (SUID). Breastfeeding also offers important bonding opportunities for both of you.

“World Breastfeeding Week is the perfect time for us to show people how and why breastfeeding and breastfeeding can be the easy and healthy choice,” said Deb Kitzmiller, public health nurse at Brattleboro Community Health. “As part of this year’s focus, we also wanted to highlight the important role Vermont employers have in supporting their breastfeeding employees.”

Vermont is a leader in breastfeeding initiation, with 91.5 percent of babies in the state receiving human milk shortly after birth, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, by 6 months of age, the percentage of infants who are exclusively breastfed drops to 36.8%. This coincides with the time when many parents are returning to the workforce – which Kitzmiller says shows how important employer support for breastfeeding-friendly workplace policies is for people to make this healthy choice for their babies.

“Supportive work policies allow people the time and space to continue to pump and breastfeed their babies,” Kitzmiller said. “In addition to the significant health aspects, becoming a breastfeeding-friendly employer also provides tangible business benefits.”

Evidence shows that policies that support new parents in the workplace can benefit employers through reduced turnover, greater productivity, reduced absenteeism, higher staff morale and loyalty, and lower health care costs (average annual savings are $400/breastfed baby).

Employers can join the celebration by registering as a Breastfeeding Friendly Employer. Visit healthvermont.gov/breastfeeding-friendly-employers to learn more about the program and how your business can apply to be designated as a Breastfeeding Friendly Employer.

Here’s what’s planned for World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7):

Three events “The Big Let Down” (formerly known as “The Big Latch On”)

Join us to meet other breastfeeding/breastfeeding parents to JOIN and RELAX! Entrants will automatically be entered to win prizes. Ask your questions as breastfeeding experts will be on hand.

  • Virtual event on Friday, August 5 from 1 to 2 p.m
  • In person event at Lyman Point Park in White River Junction on Saturday, August 6th from 10 – 11:00 am.
  • In-person event at Winston Prouty in Brattleboro on Sunday, August 7th from 10 – 11:30am

For more information and registrationgo to: https://forms.gle/tv9bnhDoh12LdkCo8

Or visit the Brattleboro, Springfield or White River Junction Department of Health Facebook sites. People can also call Jackie Lindamood at 802-289-0600 for more information.

Vermont businesses are also invited to join:

Social media – Brattleboro, Springfield and White River Junction Local Health Services want to feature your local business on their Facebook pages. Please send suggestions or questions to [email protected]

  • Option 1 (For any business): To share on our social media platforms – Take a picture of your break room or space where employees can pump or breastfeed. OR, write a few sentences for your commitment to be or become a breastfeeding-friendly employer.
  • Option 2 (For any business): Show the community that you are committed to happy employees with healthy families – Use your own social media to share the “Happy World Breastfeeding Week!” message.
  • Option 3 (For businesses that ALREADY have Breastfeeding Friendly Employer status): Promote your breastfeeding space and work culture similar to option 1 above, but focus on what your Breastfeeding Friendly status means to your staff ! We’ll be sharing this announcement on our social media to highlight the work you’ve done!

Learn more about breastfeeding in Vermontvisit healthvermont.gov/breastfeeding

Find your local health office: healthvermont.gov/local

About the Ministry of Health

We have been a state public health agency for more than 130 years, working every day to protect and promote the health of Vermonters.

Visit healthvermont.gov ─ Join us at @healthvermont Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

BURLINGTON, VT – Vermont Department of Health http://healthvermont.gov

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