The Cayuga County Health Department’s Women, Infants and Children program is kicking off the new year with a new look to welcome our breastfeeding and prenatal families. WIC recognizes breastfeeding as the normal way to feed an infant, and promotes the positive impact it can have on health outcomes for both mom and baby. As part of the Cayuga County Health Department’s Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby, Healthy Community campaign, the local WIC office is eager to promote, support and protect breastfeeding in the community.
Cayuga County WIC saw great success with breastfeeding in 2019. According to New York state data, 72.6% of Cayuga County WIC mothers offered breast milk to their infants in 2019, which is up from 70.9% in 2018 and continues move closer to the Healthy People 2020 goal of 81.9% nationwide. Additionally, the Cayuga County WIC program hosted 12 "mommy time" groups at the ABC Cayuga Play Space. Of women who joined these groups, approximately 90% of them offered breast milk to their infants, with 78% continuing to offer breast milk for six months and 60% continuing to offer breast milk for at least one year.
At Cayuga County WIC, we take pride in knowing more women are choosing the normal way to feed their babies. When families come to WIC, they can now enjoy our updated breastfeeding lounge. This is a beautiful space for expecting moms to learn about breastfeeding and continue to be supported throughout their breastfeeding journey. The calming and welcoming atmosphere allows moms and families to feel safe and confident in their decision to breastfeed. Mothers can use this room to nurse their infant at any time during their appointment or talk with one of our breastfeeding staff about their journey. This room is also a safe and calming space where WIC employees can express breast milk for their infants while at work.
To honor the breastfeeding mothers of 2019 and welcome the new mothers of 2020, Cayuga County WIC is hosting a celebration to showcase our beautiful breastfeeding lounge and reflect on the hard work being done by mothers to keep Cayuga County infants healthy. These successful breastfeeding families are making an exciting change not only for their own families, but for the community as well. With continued community support through the Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby, Healthy Community campaign, the Cayuga County Health Department and WIC program are creating a strong foundation that will help build a community where breastfeeding is not just the best choice, but the normal way to feed infants in Cayuga County.
Tania Young is program coordinator for Cayuga County Health Department’s Women, Infants and Children program. For more information, visit wicstrong.com/agency/cayuga.