CRESTVIEW — The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week through Aug. 7.
Seventy-two percent of the Okaloosa County Women, Infants and Children program’s infants are breastfed; the goal is 82 percent.
Infants not exclusively breastfed their first six months of life reportedly are more likely to develop chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, obesity and respiratory illnesses. Mothers who breastfeed reportedly have a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers.
The WIC program provides breastfeeding support, nutrition and education counseling, healthy foods and health care referrals.
Breastfeeding classes are at 1 p.m. each first and third Thursday at 810 E. James Lee Blvd., Crestview, and at 4:15 p.m. Tuesdays at 221 Hospital Drive N.E.,Fort Walton Beach.
World Breastfeeding Week is coordinated globally by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. Contact the Florida Department of Health-Okaloosa’s WIC program, 833-9240, or visit www.waba.org.my for more details.