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August 2, 2019

August Proclaimed Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Press Release from KDHE, August 2, 2019

Governor Kelly Proclaims August “Breastfeeding Awareness Month”

TOPEKA – At an official signing ceremony, Governor Laura Kelly proclaimed August “Breastfeeding Awareness Month” in Kansas. This proclamation recognizes the importance of breastfeeding for the health and wellbeing of Kansans.

“We are extremely pleased with Governor Kelly’s proclamation which highlights the importance of breastfeeding support for families in Kansas. This proclamation supports their decision and provides a foundation to build support for the policy and practice changes needed to build a landscape of breastfeeding support in our state,” said Brenda Bandy, Executive Director of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition (KBC).

“Kansas recognizes breastfeeding as a public health responsibility and priority,” said KDHE Secretary Lee Norman, MD. “Strides in improved breastfeeding rates have been possible through strong statewide partnerships and community collaboration. We will continue to promote and support breastfeeding as a way to protect and improve the health of mothers and infants.”

More than 90 percent of families in Kansas choose to breastfeed. Yet despite its importance, only 31 percent of Kansas’ infants are exclusively breastfed during the critical first six months of life. Increased investment in breastfeeding could result in saving an estimated 22 women’s lives each year due to breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Investing in breastfeeding could save the lives of seven children annually, due mostly to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) prevention. And finally, investing in breastfeeding would save Kansas more than $27 million in medical costs each year1.

Today’s proclamation stresses the role of every Kansan to make breastfeeding easier in our state. The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition has suggested actions various groups and individuals can take to support breastfeeding in “The State of Breastfeeding in Kansas.”

1 Breastfeeding Saves Lives Calculator, Access July 2019. Stuebe, A. M. et al (in press – 2017). An online calculator to estimate the impact of changes in breastfeeding rates on population health and costs. Breastfeeding Medicine.

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