Pontiac, MI - Oakland County Health Division’s (OCHD) Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program in partnership with the Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition (OCBFC), Michigan Breastfeeding Network (MIBFN), and Learn, Lactate, Grow and Nature’s Playhouse will host the 4th annual “Bridging the Breastfeeding Gap” event to celebrate National Breastfeeding Month in August.
The event will take place on Mon., August 23, from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Waterford Oaks Park. This free event will provide breastfeeding education and resources to employers, organizations, and families, and the theme is “Breastfeeding and Mental Health.”
The Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition Leadership Team supports mothers and babies during the first 1,000 days and beyond. “Breastfeeding support is most impactful when the care is reflective of the community’s individual needs. This event is an opportunity to bring health care providers, birth workers, lactation experts and members of community together to enhance the continuity of care for the birthing family.”
The event is a socially distanced outdoor walk and participants can attend anytime from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. A yoga class will be held at 10:00 a.m., and snacks and light refreshments will be provided. Waterford Oaks park is located at 1702 Scott Lake Road in Waterford. Registration is encouraged on the Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition’s website, www.OCbreastfeeding.org. The event is sponsored by Blue Cross Complete.
“At the Oakland County Health Division, we understand that breastfeeding is a public health imperative, and we are pleased to support this annual event”, says Leigh-Anne Stafford, Health Officer at Oakland County Health Division. “Linking residents with local community support is our primary objective in supporting families to achieve their breastfeeding goals. It is important that breastfeeding mothers know they are not alone and there are many resources that can help.”
Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mothers and babies. Studies show breastmilk saves lives, protects mothers against deadly diseases such as breast and ovarian cancers, and leads to better educational outcomes for children. Breastmilk protects babies from illness and reduces the risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, ear infections, eczema, diarrhea, vomiting, type 2 diabetes, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding is also a convenient and more affordable option for families compared to formula feeding.
The WIC program offers breastfeeding peers to help WIC clients with any breastfeeding questions or concerns at 248-858-1272. If after business hours, call the after-hours number at 248-520-8513, Monday- Friday, 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For more information about WIC, visit www.oakgov.com/wic.
For up-to-date public health information, visit oakgov.com/health and follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter. For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Oakland County media & communications officer, at (248) 858-1048.
More information about the organizations who helped plan this event:
Michigan Breastfeeding Network (MIBFN)
MIBFN collaborates with organizations and individuals to bring about actionable, system-level changes that are centered on the diverse experiences of Michigan families with young children. The mission of MIBFN is to lead statewide collaborative actions for advocacy, education, and coalition building to create a supportive breastfeeding culture. For more information, visit www.mibreastfeeding.org.
Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition
The Oakland County Breastfeeding Coalition is a local grassroots organization whose mission is to optimize state and community support of breastfeeding by leading collaborative actions for advocacy, education, and coalition building. For more information, visit www.OCbreastfeeding.org.
Learn Lactate Grow
Learn Lactate Grow is an organization dedicated to reclaiming support. Breastfeeding and birthing cannot be done successfully unless surrounded by supportive like-minded persons. Learn Lactate Grow knows and understands the importance and will make the greater Pontiac area a safer place for Black and Brown persons. For more information, visit www.ponticchildcare.com
Nature’s Playhouse was founded in 2011 as a sanctuary for parents to connect to their inner wisdom. The mission of Nature’s Playhouse is to re-imagine what it means to have support systems for parents and caregivers by honoring the unique experiences of parenthood and providing the tools and connections necessary to raise a family. Nature’s Playhouse focuses on providing services for families expecting new children and in the first few years of their child’s life. For more information, visit www.naturesplayhouse.com
Women, Infants, Children (WIC) Supplemental Food Program
The WIC program enables families to eat well and stay healthy by providing supplemental healthy foods, nutrition counseling and education, breastfeeding support, immunizations, referrals to health care, public health nurses, registered dietitians, and many other helpful services. WIC is open to low to middle income pregnant women; infants; children under five years; women who recently had a baby up to six months after delivery, including miscarriages; and breastfeeding women up to one year after delivery. For more information, visit www.oakgov.com/wic