Fargo Cass Public Health is recognizing Breastfeeding Awareness Month throughout August by spotlighting the importance of breastfeeding. World Breastfeeding Week also takes place August 1-7, with the theme of “Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life.”
“Breastfeeding truly is a great way to give your baby a strong foundation – from helping develop a strong immune system to providing valuable bonding time,” says Michelle Draxten, Fargo Cass Public Health Breastfeeding Coordinator.
Fargo Cass Public Health offers a Back to Work Mom (#B2Wmom) program that sends breastfeeding tips and support to pregnant women and new moms via text messages. “We send helpful tips and answer questions from new moms who are getting comfortable breastfeeding. We are a resource that moms can call on for support,” says Draxten.
Employers also have an opportunity to support breastfeeding by applying to become an Infant Friendly business. There are currently 42 businesses designated Infant Friendly in Cass County.
“A few things are needed to be Infant Friendly – a private space, access to a sink and fridge, and a policy for moms to pump or breastfeed at work. The benefits of becoming Infant Friendly are shared between the business and its employees,” says Draxten. “It’s a great way to reinforce a company’s culture and retain employees by helping new moms find balance between going back to work and caring for their infants. Studies show breastfed babies are less likely to be sick, so their moms are less likely to miss work. It’s truly a win-win for employers and employees.”