Breastfeeding is a fundamental aspect of nurturing a healthy start for infants. An executive proclamation from Governor Kristi Noem states that South Dakota officially recognizes August as Breastfeeding Awareness Month. No matter the month, South Dakotans can support breastfeeding as mothers themselves, as a support system, or as a business encouraging breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.
Breastfeeding is integral for a baby’s growth as well as developing a strong bond between mother and child. Additional benefits of breastfeeding include:
- The breast milk changing to meet your baby’s growth needs, providing the best source of nutrients
- Your baby developing a strong immune system
- Being able to feed your child anywhere, at any time
- Reducing a mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure
The South Dakota Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program provides support for breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeeding is rewarding for both mother and child, but each person’s experience can be different. Turn to WIC to learn more about preparation, latching, developmental milestones and how to overcome common challenges.
One common challenge women may face when breastfeeding is the return to work. Ensure working mothers have an easy transition back into the office. Over 700 worksites across South Dakota have pledged to be a Breastfeeding-Friendly Business. If you’re a business, create a workplace lactation space for breastfeeding employees and understand how to support them.
Healthy SD provides many resources for breastfeeding mothers and for South Dakota businesses looking to support their employees while breastfeeding. Take the time this August to learn more about the importance of breastfeeding.