Cleveland, Miss. — The Women, Infant and Children’s (WIC) Nutrition Program of Bolivar County has been awarded the Loving Support Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service.
“These awards recognize successful models and provide motivation to other WIC local agencies, with the ultimate goal of increasing breastfeeding rates in Mississippi,” said Lela Carter, WIC Program Director with the Mississippi State Department of Health.
Carter said she hopes through efforts like the Loving Support Model that more mothers will receive helpful information on breastfeeding and make the choice to breastfeed their babies.
This regional award recognized Lafayette County’s participation in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Loving Support Model for a Successful Peer Counseling Program. The program recognizes excellence in breastfeeding support practices at local WIC agencies and clinics. Breastfeeding has been shown to improve the health of mother and baby. Babies receive nutrients that only mothers can provide, and breastfeeding can actually lower the risk of developing diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that breastfeeding was on the rise in the United States in 2013, with 81 percent of newborn infants starting life being breastfed. In Mississippi, however, only 52 percent of infants start life being breastfed, with just 11 percent still breastfeeding at 12 months of age.
For more information, visit HealthyMS.com/breastfeeding.
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