Gov. Quinn Proclaims August as Breastfeeding Promotion Month

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

                      Governor Pat Quinn has

                      proclaimed the month of August as Breastfeeding

                      Promotion Month in the state of Illinois.

                      Breastfeeding Promotion Month is designed to increase

                      public awareness of breastfeeding as the normal and

                      expected way to feed all babies in Illinois.

                      “The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous, well

                      known and research based.  Mother s and babies alike

                      benefit from breastfeeding.  Babies who are breastfed

                      are protected against many maladies, including

                      respiratory and ear infections, asthma, allergies,

                      childhood cancer and obesity.  Also, mothers who

                      breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and

                      ovarian cancers,” said Illinois Department of Human

                      Services (IDHS) Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler.

                      “That’s why it’s so important that we encourage and

                      support breastfeeding and continue to remove the

                      stigma that is sometimes associated with it.”

                      Illinois’ Breastfeeding Promotion Month coincides

                      with the 20th anniversary of World Breastfeeding

                      Week, which is celebrated in more than 170 countries

                      August 1-7, 2011.  This year’s theme “Talk to Me!

                      Breastfeeding- a 3D Experience!” focuses on the

                      importance of communication in protecting, promoting

                      and supporting breastfeeding as the normal way to

                      feed babies.  Creating and expanding communication

                      about breastfeeding through social media outlets is

                      leading to wider outreach and support in the

                      community. Surfing the web for accurate breastfeeding

                      information or sharing knowledge and experiences is

                      just a click away.

                      IDHS promotes breastfeeding through the WIC program

                      and The Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program, which

                      utilizes women who have breastfed their own babies

                      and want to help other women successfully breastfeed.

                      Breastfeeding Peer Counselors receive regular

                      training so they are able to provide quality support

                      and assist breastfeeding women.  Many peer counselors

                      use text messaging and social media outlets such as

                      Facebook to answer questions from breastfeeding moms

                      and to provide continuing support.

                      The department supports the Illinois State

                      Breastfeeding Task Force along with 10 regional task

                      forces as they promote awareness and education.  IDHS

                      also recently launched the Illinois Breastfeeding

                      Blueprint, an initiative that brings together

                      stakeholders from across the state to help expand and

                      set priorities, develop benchmarks for success and

                      implement a five-year timeline for promoting and

                      supporting breastfeeding awareness activities and

                      efforts throughout the state of Illinois.

                      According to the Centers for Disease Control and

                      Prevention National Immunization Survey, 70 percent

                      of mothers in Illinois start out breastfeeding.  The

                      newly established Healthy People 2020 goals aim to

                      increase breastfeeding initiation to 81.9 percent;

                      increase breastfeeding at six months to 60.6 percent

                      and exclusive breastfeeding at three months to a

                      target of 46.2 percent.  The Healthy People 2020

                      goals also focus on increasing the number of

                      employers who have worksite lactation support

                      programs and strive to increase the number of babies

                      born at hospitals that provide recommended care for

                      breastfeeding moms and their babies.

                      Local events and activities have been planned to

                      promote breastfeeding knowledge and awareness during

                      World Breastfeeding Week and Illinois Breastfeeding

                      Promotion Month.  For more information, please visit


                      Text of the Governor’s proclamation follows:

                      WHEREAS, human breastmilk is widely acknowledged to

                      be the only substance that provides complete

                      nutrition and immunologic protection to an infant;


                      WHEREAS, breastfeeding promotes healthier mothers and

                      babies, stronger family bonds, is economical, and

                      benefits society through lower health care costs;


                      WHEREAS, breastfeeding is recognized by many health

                      organizations, such as the American Academy of

                      Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and

                      Gynecologists, the American Academy of Family

                      Physicians, the American Dietetic Association, and

                      the National Association of WIC Directors as the

                      preferred method of infant feeding, and they support

                      breastfeeding throughout the early years of life;


                      WHEREAS, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action

                      has designated the first week of August as World

                      Breastfeeding Week; and,

                      WHEREAS, a united effort is needed from business,

                      community, and government leaders and healthcare

                      providers to support exclusive breastfeeding; and,

                      WHEREAS, in Illinois, the Department of Human

                      Services continues to foster networking and

                      collaboration between those with breastfeeding skills

                      and breastfeeding advocates, communities, and health

                      professionals on how they can actively support and

                      promote breastfeeding; and,

                      WHEREAS, the Illinois State Breastfeeding Task Force

                      continues to work towards the vision that someday all

                      families will live, work, and receive health care in

                      a breastfeeding friendly culture, and a change will

                      be created that results in breastfeeding as the

                      cultural norm:

                      THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of

                      Illinois, do hereby proclaim August 2011 as

                      BREASTFEEDING PROMOTION MONTH in Illinois, to

                      increase public awareness, support and acceptance of