The Union County Health Department (UCHD) is celebrating its second year of promoting Breastfeeding Awareness Month.
Jennifer Thrush, public information officer for the UCHD, said the department has learned a lot from when it first started advocating for breastfeeding last year. She said the successes of last year’s observance led to a strong social network being created.
“We received quite a lot of feedback from community members and a lot of breastfeeding-supportive moms,” Thrush said. “And in the community, we’re very happy to see a show of support from other moms with similar experiences, so I think that was a really good outcome from that campaign.”
Thrush said last year’s focus was on an advertising campaign aimed at normalizing and encouraging breastfeeding. It featured photos and videos of mothers and fathers talking about the benefits of breastfeeding. Another goal last year was to create breastfeeding stations at the Union County Fair.
“We promote and support breastfeeding because it has been shown to reduce infant mortality,” Thrush said. “There are communities, if we can support breastfeeding, then that improves healthy outcomes for babies.”
She said a thing that could have been improved about last year was “keeping its momentum” going throughout the whole year, rather than focusing the department’s efforts on just August.
Thrush said the UCHD has been able to improve upon its awareness efforts by incorporating breastfeeding services into its other facilities. She said mothers and expecting mothers are being informed about any resource available to them through the health department.
“We made improvements to say, ‘we need to make sure we’re promoting the breastfeeding support we provide and offer through all of our services,” Thrush said.
Also on the list of changes for this year include a larger focus on creating lactation stations at the Richwood Fair and a partnership with the Marysville Public Library.
Thrush said the campaign this year wants to focus on consistent breastfeeding for infants.
“One of our goals is to see if we can improve the number of moms breastfeeding after three or six months,” Thrush said. “It’s not just helping moms get started breastfeeding, but making sure they feel supported and have the resources they need to be able to breastfeed as long as they want to.”
For those wanting more information about breastfeeding support in the county, they may request to join a Facebook group for local mothers called “The Breast Information – Breastfeeding Support Group,” or by calling the health department.
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