The Texas Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) at Driscoll Children’s Hospital is joining in the celebration of August as National Breast-Feeding Month.
The theme of the month is “Strength Through Support,” an appropriate one for a program that shows strong support for the mothers and infants of South Texas.
In Nueces County, the breast-feeding rates continue to improve.
Dalia Aguilar, WIC Director at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, attributes the rise to increased collaboration between the medical community, WIC and mothers in South Texas, all in an effort to do what is best for the babies.
“Programs such as the Texas Ten Step Program and Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative focus on implementing evidence-based practices, known as the Ten Steps to Successful Breast-Feeding. These practices are proven to increase breast-feeding exclusivity and duration, and reduce racial and ethnic disparities,” said Aguilar. The Texas Ten Step Program is managed by the Texas Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant, and Children (WIC).
The number of Texas Ten Step facilities and Baby Friendly hospitals in Texas increased by nine in the past year. Such success has led to an increased number of mothers who choose to breast-feed.
“Eighty-seven percent of Texas WIC moms now initiate breast-feeding. That’s among the highest rate in the nation,” said Aguilar. “Our moms want to breast-feed, and these hospitals are doing a better job at helping them succeed.”
Studies show breast-fed babies have a lower risk of stomach problems, infection, and being hospitalized for pneumonia and meningitis. Breast-fed babies also have lower risk of childhood leukemia as well as diabetes, obesity and hypertension later in life.
The WIC Program at Driscoll Children’s Hospital will be hosting multiple events throughout the county in honor of National Breastfeeding Month. For more information, contact Cecilia Hill at 694-4727.