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August 6, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Ann Seacrest, Breastfeeding Work Group, 423-6402
Bruce Dart, City-County Health Department, 441-8001

Campaign Promotes Better Infant Health Through Breastfeeding
Awards presented to those already setting example

Mayor Don Wesely and members of the Breastfeeding: Healthy Kids 2010 Work Group today kicked off a campaign to increase the number of babies in the community who are breastfed. The campaign is the result of the Mayor's Summit on Breastfeeding in June 2001, which included discussion of the U.S. Surgeon General's report, "A Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding."

"There is a great deal of evidence that breastfeeding babies for at least one year creates healthier kids and a healthier community," said Mayor Wesely. "As the Surgeon General's report states, efforts to increase breastfeeding rates must involve the entire community families, the business community and government as well as health and social service agencies."

In March 2001, The Lincoln-Lancaster County Board of Health passed a Breastfeeding Initiative, which called for the creation of the Work Group. The Work Group has been meeting since November 2001 to identify barriers to breastfeeding and develop a local plan of action.

"We are pleased to kick off this important campaign in August, which is World Breastfeeding Month," said Ann Seacrest, Chair of the Breastfeeding: Healthy Kids 2010 Work Group. "We have three main focus areas: promoting breastfeeding through positive media coverage, collecting data on breastfeeding in the community and working with employers to encourage them to designate appropriate areas for breastfeeding mothers.

The Work Group unveiled the campaign slogan: "Mother Grows Best: Breastfeeding creates healthy kids," which will be featured on billboards. A local advertising agency, Lamar Advertising and the Community Health Endowment participated in this project. The Lincoln-Lancaster Women's Commission has also produced information cards which include the slogan and a list of breastfeeding resources and has developed a brochure for new mothers which explains the City-County breastfeeding policy.

The City-County Health Department's Epidemiology Division is now developing a survey to gather data on the breastfeeding rate in the community. The survey will include follow-up interviews with new mothers when their babies are ages 6 weeks, six months and one year.

The Work Group also presented Breastfeeding: Healthy Kids 2010 Awards to:

• Dora Herrera of the Multi-Cultural Human Development Corporation of the National Association of Farmworkers, who has helped her clients understand the benefits of breastfeeding.
• Von Maur for providing a Mother's Room at its store for mothers to use for breastfeeding.
• State Farm for its leadership in encouraging employees to continue to breastfeed once they return to work.
• the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County for developing and implementing an employee breastfeeding policy, which went into effect in May 2001. It can be found on the City-County website: click on Personnel Department, then either City Personnel Policy and Information or County Personnel Rules and Information.

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