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August Breastfeeding Awareness Month


August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and the theme this year is “Breastfeeding and Work – Let’s Make it Work!”

Ninety-five percent of mothers enrolled in the Deschutes County Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) initiated breastfeeding in 2014. This is a higher rate of initiation when compared to 79% of all women who gave birth in the U.S. in 2014.

At six months, 26% of all women in Oregon breastfed exclusively in 2014 compared to 18.8% nationally. About 40% of Deschutes County WIC moms continue to breastfeed exclusively at six months.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least one full year of breastfeeding, but returning to work can be a barrier for many breastfeeding parents. A supportive workplace environment can help our community continue to lead the nation by raising our breastfeeding duration percentages.

Women and children who breastfeed enjoy a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, central nervous system diseases, asthma, ear infections, allergies, tooth decay, and obesity. Breastfeeding employees take fewer sick days to care for a sick child. Allowing employees to take lawfully mandated breaks to pump or feed the baby will improve short and long term health outcomes.

If you are an employer and would like more information on how to support your breastfeeding employees please contact Deschutes County Health Services’ WIC program by calling 541-322-7400 or by emailing

You can learn more about the Breastfeeding and Return to Work Law at: .

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