'Support changes everything'

August is National Breastfeeding Month 

MECOSTA, LAKE COUNTIES — August is National Breastfeeding Month and District Health Department No. 10 joins with the Michigan Women, Infant and Children’s (WIC) Program to celebrate this year’s theme of ‘Support Changes Everything!’

The Michigan WIC breastfeeding program is guided by the vision that all families should breastfeed for as long as they choose. Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed infants and evidence shows breastfeeding provides many short- and long-term maternal and infant health benefits, as well as economic and community benefits. However, due to challenges such as racial disparities and underserved areas, many families do not have equal access to support and education.

DHD No. 10 WIC staff assist families in reaching their breastfeeding goals by addressing and removing barriers, advancing equity, and promoting breastfeeding as crucial for infant nutrition, social emotional health, and chronic disease prevention.

“Support for breastfeeding and breastfeeding mothers is crucial in sustaining exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months of an infant’s life," said Colleen Unsal, DHD No. 10 WIC senior breastfeeding counselor.

"Through family, friends, health care providers, WIC staff, employers and more, we can work together to support mothers in meeting their breastfeeding goals. We can individualize education and anticipatory guidance to meet the needs of each individual client, as well as the communities we serve.”

WIC is there to help in every county in Michigan. Call 211 to find a WIC agency near you. Michigan WIC has a breastfeeding warmline available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at 833-MIWICBF (833-649-4233).

Find other local supporters and resources at Michigan Breastfeeding Network at mibreastfeeding.org/coalition.

DHD No. 10 serves Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana and Wexford counties. For more information, visit dhd10.org.