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Children’s Clinic to host World Breastfeeding Week event Aug. 7

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The North Country Children’s Clinic wants to normalize breast-feeding.

Through its Women, Infants and Children federal supplemental feeding program, the clinic’s certified lactation consultants and breast-feeding peer counselors will help mothers understand the importance and techniques of breast-feeding, said Lacy A. Rudd, four-county breast-feeding coordinator.

“I still think a lot of people are embarrassed about it, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” she said. “We’re meant to do it.”

Breast-feeding will be celebrated during a local celebration of World Breastfeeding Week from noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 7 at the agency, 238 Arsenal St. World Breastfeeding Week is held the first week of August. The event, hosted by the Children’s Clinic, will feature children’s activities, farmers market vendors and partner agencies that promote breast-feeding. The free event also will offer a support walk at 1 p.m.

“It’s to celebrate our breast-feeding moms, and it’s to let them know breast-feeding is a gold standard for nutrition for their child,” Miss Rudd said. “Even if you aren’t planning on having a baby, future moms can see moms who are breast-feeding.”

Miss Rudd said breast-feeding is beneficial for babies and their mothers. Breast milk provides antibodies that support a baby’s immune system, and breast-feeding may contribute to the mother’s weight loss — women, on average, burn 300 more calories a day by breast-feeding.

Miss Rudd said breast-feeding also creates a strong bond between mother and child.

According to the World Breastfeeding Week’s website, the theme this year focuses on peer support programs such as the one at the Children’s Clinic. The program offers support for mothers who are just starting to breast-feed from those who have gone through similar experiences.

Other support offered through WIC includes a breast pump loaner program.

According to WIC’s most recent statistics, there were 1,593 infants in Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Franklin counties who were breast-fed in May, Miss Rudd said.

Breast-feeding also is being celebrated through recent grant awards funded by the North Country Prenatal Perinatal Council to help businesses and groups create policies and practices to make breast-feeding an easy choice for north country families.

The grants were overseen by Adopting Healthy Habits, an initiative of Cornell Cooperative Extensions of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

According to a recent news release, the North Country Children’s Clinic received a $450 grant for its Jefferson County WIC program for a mobile nurturing station for public events, and a grant for the agency’s St. Lawrence County WIC program to work with area hospitals to create policies and practices to support breast-feeding.

A $330 award was given to the Lewis County Breastfeeding Support Group to collaborate with and promote businesses that implement ways to create an atmosphere in which breast-feeding is the normal method of infant feeding, according to the news release.

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