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Page 14

LK!

March Is National Nutrition Month: Getting The Right Start From Day One

Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln (PHL)

H

ow important is good nutrition? For kids, we know that diet quality affects a child’s growth and physical development, as well as impacts cognition, behavior, well-being, and ability to deal with life’s challenges. But did you also know that eating healthy right from birth starts babies on the road to better health for their whole lives? Research confirms that babies who are breastfed the recommended duration have fewer hospitalizations for respiratory infections, and reduced risks of asthma, type I and type II diabetes, childhood leukemia, childhood obesity, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Scientists have also recently identified

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that the beneficial bacteria in breastmilk can help set a healthy course for the baby’s growing immune system and metabolism. Moms who breastfeed have a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer, a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, and postpartum depression. These health benefits to babies and moms are why the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists all support and recommend breastfeeding. Why do so many women give up after a few months? Breastfed babies are healthier, but it’s not always easy, and parents have to do whatever they need to do to feed their babies. While some women have physical difficulties, new moms most often cite a lack of family and workplace support and accommodation. A recently published study reports that “shaming moms for breastfeeding in public is holding them back in every area, from their work lives to their social lives. New

moms face an overwhelming lack of support when breastfeeding or breast pumping in public, from both men and women.” (Aeroflow, 2019) It’s the law. Fortunately, Nebraska has laws that give moms the right to breastfeed in public. Nebraska law also requires larger employers to provide time and a safe, sanitary, and private space that’s not a bathroom for mothers to pump breastmilk at work, but smaller employers do not have to comply. Breastfeedingfriendly workplaces have been shown to decrease employee absenteeism by up to 57% while enhancing employee productivity, loyalty, and morale. Despite that fact, many workplaces have been slow to truly support breastfeeding employees. There’s help and support in Lincoln. Lincoln has some excellent non-profit resources to help parents and families navigate their breastfeeding journeys. MilkWorks has certified lactation specialists and a host of education classes. They provide comprehensive

information on their website, including answers to frequently asked questions at milkworkslincoln.org. WIC, the Women, Infant, and Children program through the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department provides breastfeeding information and support, including breast pumps, for low to moderate-income families. Lincoln.ne.gov, keyword: WIC. Family Services–WIC provides free food, nutrition information, and breastfeeding support to qualifying pregnant women, infants, and children under five years. Familyservicelincoln.org. Community Breastfeeding Educator (CBE) Program is collaborative program supported by MilkWorks, Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, and the Asian Community and Cultural Center. CBEs provide culturally sensitive breastfeeding support and education to new moms in nine languages within their own communities or homes. CBEs also provide services on-site at MilkWorks, the Asian

Profile for Lincoln Kids!

Lincoln Kids! Newspaper • Spring 2020 • February, March, April  

Your free, seasonal guide to family fun and resources in the Lincoln, Nebraska area! Geared towards families with children ages birth throug...

Lincoln Kids! Newspaper • Spring 2020 • February, March, April  

Your free, seasonal guide to family fun and resources in the Lincoln, Nebraska area! Geared towards families with children ages birth throug...