Capital News Service

of the Michigan State University School of Journalism

State short of goal in breastfeeding

By JULIET WANG
Capital News Service

LANSING– Michigan did not meet the national breastfeeding goal for 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The federal agency said 70.1 percent of mothers in Michigan have breastfed. The goal is 75 percent.
“Each mom makes her own decision,” said Diane Revitte, director of the nutrition program and evaluation section in Women Infants Children Division at the state Department of Community Health.

“Not all moms choose to breastfeed, but we hope they will make that choice. We provide support and information for them to make a decision,” Revitte said.

WIC is a federally funded health and nutrition program to help low-income women and children. It promotes breastfeeding on media outlets such as TV, radio and billboards. WIC also provides peer counselors for new mothers to encourage breastfeeding.

The Mother-to-Mother Program, a partnership of WIC and Michigan State University Extension, is an initiative with 42 participating counties.

Aside from the health benefits of breastfeeding, there is also an economic side.

“Formulas are expensive and it’s not the best for babies,” said Pat Benton, program manager of the Breast-Feeding Initiative Program.  “For women employees, it reduces absences because if the mother and baby are both healthy, the mother doesn’t have to worry about taking time off of work to take care of herself or her baby.”

Midwest states are still below the 2010 target of 75 percent of mothers who have ever breastfeed. Ohio is the lowest with 64.8 percent. Indiana and Illinois are at 70.5 and 70.2 percent.

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Filed under: Social Policy

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