Lake Cumberland District Health Department
A healthy today for a brighter tomorrow.
Breastfeeding– this relatively easy task will pay forward for many years to come.
For the mom, it is a convenient and cheap way to nourish her child. Breastfeeding causes secretions of hormones, which give a feeling of happiness and wellbeing and strengthen bonding; promotes a quick return to pre-pregnancy weight; lowers the risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, and even cardiovascular disease throughout life.
For the baby, it provides antibodies and other antimicrobial molecules to fight infection such as flu and gastroenteritis, both common causes of hospital admission for bottle-fed infants. Breastfeeding also provides important nutrients for optimal brain growth and development – research shows breastfed babies have an IQ a few points higher than those bottle-fed; prevents excessive weight gain and later development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Feeding premature infants human milk has improved survival rates dramatically.
Science has now proven what nature knew all along – human milk is best for human babies! So why is the state of Kentucky, together with Mississippi and Louisiana, at the bottom of the ladder for both initiating and continuing breastfeeding? Fifty-three percent of Kentucky moms initiate breastfeeding and only 28% continue past 3 months.
The LCDHD wants to help you successfully breastfeed your infant. Through a program that started in 2011, a breastfeeding coordinator and peer counselors will be available to help you get started, support you throughout, and aid in solving problems.
The WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program is a free program offered through the Lake Cumberland District Health Department, that provides one on one support to pregnant and breastfeeding WIC mothers. A peer counselor will contact you during your pregnancy and assist you with any questions, or concerns you may have with breastfeeding. This is done through mailings, phone calls, and periodic visits. After delivery, the peer counselor will continue to provide support throughout your breastfeeding experience.
Heather Capps, RN, with the LCDHD is the Regional Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Lake Cumberland region and can assist you with any breastfeeding questions, concerns, or issues you may have. Heather may also assist any clinic or business with breastfeeding promotion and education. Please call the LCDHD at 1 (800) 928-4416 for more information. Additional information can also be found at: Additional Breastfeeding Information.
We currently have peer counselors available throughout our district. Our peer counselors are available to support mothers outside of regular business hours to answer any breastfeeding questions our WIC mothers may have.
You can find details here about the Nutrition Services Branch of the Kentucky Department for Public Health.
For more information about the free peer counselor program or to find a peer counselor and breastfeeding support group near you, please contact your local health department or the Peer Counselor Supervisor.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.