The Power of Nutrition and the Power of Breastfeeding, from the World Bank



In October,2015, The World Bank Global Practices Vice President, Kieth Hansen, provided a highlight of the Seventh Annual Summit on Breastfeeding, First Food: The Essential Role of Breastfeeding in "The Power of Nutrition and the Power of Breastfeeding," published in Breastfeeding Medicine. "Children who escape undernutrition are much more likely to survive and stay in school, and they're much more likely to escape poverty—about 33% more likely on average," Hansen said. "And their wages are anywhere from 5% to 50% higher than their peers who were not able to escape." In regards to undernutrition, overall health, and the economy, Hansen says that breastfeeding may be the single most effective investment a country can make. He discusses prioritizing and financing ...

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Teen Sisters Help Kids Conquer Obesity in Corpus Christi, Texas



How can one family have an impact on reducing obesity in their school and beyond?  Just look at the Surani sisters of Corpus Christi, Texas. After learning that their city had been named the fattest in the nation and how obesity is a huge health threat among children, the three girls wanted to take action. They, with the help of their parents and others, created several programs to improve children’s health, including the iConquer program to help kids beat obesity by achieving healthy lifestyles starting from the early ages of 3 to 6 years old. EMERGENCE Awareness: Fifteen-year-old Zoya Surani, along with sisters Sara (19) and Saherish (16), grew up in a household where healthy choices were commonplace. Their father, a pulmonologist, and mother, a respiratory therapist, always made ...

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ACLU, Free the Nipple, and Local Residents Sue Springfield, Missouri for Tougher Indecent Exposure Standards



The Springfield, Miss. City Council rewrote an indecency law in September 2015, after two Free the Nipple protests in August 2015, in which protestors showed up topless with only tape covering their nipples. This was legal under the previous law, but the new law makes it a crime to show the female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola.  However, women in the adult entertainment business and women breastfeeding infants less than 1-year-old are exempt. This law is viewed by many to disriminate based on gender and to criminalize breastfeeding and pumping. On October 26, 2015, Free the Nipple and local residents, with help from the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit suing the city. Deb Hipp of Courthouse News Service stated, "The plaintiffs claim ...

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Fact Sheet: Hospital Actions Affect Breastfeeding



Babies who are breastfed have reduced risks of ear and respiratory infections, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), diabetes, and obesity; therefore, the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative established Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as the global standard for hospital care to support breastfeeding. However, according to the CDC Vital Signs report, many hospitals do not implement the steps. For example, 80% of babies born in the US start out breastfeeding, but, unfortunately, 6 in 10 breastfeeding mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than they intend.  Even more Latina mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than they intend. This is due to lack of support from hospitals, the workplace, businesses, and families.   In order to reduce Latino childhood obesity, ...

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Hospitals Could be doing More to Implement Breastfeeding Friendly Policies and Practices



Of the approximately four million babies born in the United States every year, only about 14 percent are born in Baby-Friendly hospitals, The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative established 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in 1989, which were endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2009.  However, a recent study demonstrates that many hospitals still do not implement these 10 Steps. Breastfeeding has numerous health benefits, including reduced childhood obesity, but many mothers face barriers to breastfeed. Maternal experiences during the birth hospitalization show that a hospital's policies and practices affect a mother's ability to establish and maintain breastfeeding. In the six-year study, Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care, investigators ...

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Public Health Crusader, Writer and Mother uses Comedy to Advocate for Health and Breastfeeding



Stephanie Pitsirilos-Boquin, founder of Zoe Health, is using comic relief to talk about serious health issues in the Latino community, from breastfeeding and obesity prevention to affordable housing and gentrification. As the program manager for Choosing Healthy & Active Lifestyles for Kids (CHALK) and as a consultant with Zoe Health, she has helped businesses in Inwood (74% Latino) in northern Manhattan, NY, bridge commerce and community by modifying their services to provide healthier options for the past 10 years.  She is a public health crusader working to build healthier homes, schools and communities to reduce Latino childhood obesity. In order to better develop health messages to resonate with Latinos, she is turning to the narrative. "In order to be an advocate, I ...

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WIC Agencies can Apply for Loving Support Award of Excellence Program



USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) announces the Loving Support Award of Excellence program to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities. Obesity risk is a grave concern facing WIC agencies because low-income children are at the greatest risk for obesity and are the least likely to breastfeed.  In California, 80% of Latina women initiate breastfeeding, but only 29% breastfeed exclusively while in the hospital.  Since a major goal of the WIC Program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, WIC mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their infants, and WIC agencies are provided with evidence-based programs and training, such as breastfeeding peer counselors, to support WIC ...

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Instructional Tools and Support Materials for Breastfeeding



Loving Support is a USDA initiative to support breastfeeding through WIC staff, community partners, moms, and family and friends. WIC staff Campaign Materials Fathers Supporting Breastfeeding Grow and Glow in WIC Magical Bond of Love Peer Counseling Community partners Building Breastfeeding-Friendly Communities Campaign Materials Partnering with WIC for Breastfeeding Success Moms Resources for Moms: Baby’s First Weeks Ready, Set, Breastfeed! Busy Moms Confidence Encouragement You Have Everything Your Baby Needs Family and friends 10 Tips for Dads Dads Play An Important Role Grandparents Play An Important Role Fathers Supporting Breastfeeding Encouragement Breastfeeding is linked to numerous short- and long-term health benefits ...

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New Mexico Baby-Friendly Hospital Project Designates 8 Facilities as Breastfeeding-Friendly



In June 2012, the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force received funding from the WK Kellogg Foundation to launch the New Mexico Baby-Friendly® Hospital Project through October 31st, 2015. By mid-2015, eight of New Mexico’s 30 birthing facilities had been designated as Baby-Friendly, and during the final month of funding, more are working to achieve the certification. This improvement is excellent for New Mexico (47.7% Latino) mothers and babies because breastfeeding is associated with multiple long-term benefits for both mother and baby, including obesity prevention.  Unfortunately, the three-month exclusive breastfeeding rates in New Mexico (30.3%) are below the national average (37.7%) and far below Vermont’s average (51.7%). The high rates of breastfeeding in Vermont ...

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Illinois Approves Lactation Accommodation in Airports Act



On or before January 1, 2017, Illinois (16.7% Latino) airports must provide a private space at each airport terminal for mother's to express breast milk. The Illinois public act, Lactation Accommodation in Airports Act, states that these private nursing spaces cannot be in a public restroom and they must include a chair and an electrical outlet.  Chicago O'Hare International Airport had already opened a room for nursing mothers in one terminal in September 2014 and plans to open a room in each of the three other terminals by the end of 2015. Low breastfeeding and high formula use negatively impact kid's weight. Not only do health professionals and public health officials agree that breastfeeding is beneficial for the mother and baby, but state lawmakers do as ...

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