August 19, 2009

The Healthy Start Coaltion of Sarasota County Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week 2009


Emergencies can happen anywhere. In Southwest Florida, we know all about hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires. Whatever the emergency, breastfeeding is a lifeline and a shield that protects infants.

During emergencies and catastrophes, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to malnutrition, illness, and death. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ breastfeeding recommendation—early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age and continued breastfeeding for at least one year—is even more critical in emergencies.

Breastfeeding is the one safe and secure source of food and fluid for infants: it is instantly available, clean and ready, and it protects infants against illness, particularly by eliminating the need to mix formula with water that may be contaminated with fecal bacteria or other hazardous substances. For mothers who deliver their baby during an emergency, immediate breastfeeding can reduce the risk of post-partum hemorrhage after the birth.

As part of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week activities in August, the Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc., conducted its Annual Door Decorating Contest for local health care providers and others to promote and support breastfeeding in a public display. This year’s theme was “Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response.”

The 2009 winners were:

  • Sarasota County Health Department, Children’s Health Center – Best Pediatric Display
  • Comprehensive Childcare Associates – Most Creative
  • First Step of Sarasota, Mothers and Infants Program – Most Beautiful
  • Sarasota County Health Department, Women’s Health Services – Best Obstetric Display
  • Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System, Lactation Services – Best Educational Display
  • Sarasota County Health Department, Women, Infant and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) – Best Use of Theme
If you need more information about breastfeeding, please call the Healthy Start Coalition office at 941-373-7070 to request a list of Breastfeeding Resources in Sarasota County.

About the Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc.: The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women, infants and young children. For more information, contact Jennifer Highland, Executive Director of the Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, at 941-373-7070.