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County Judge David Krebs proclaimed August as National Breastfeeding Month during the regular commissioners court meeting held on Aug. 2. Pictured, first row from left, are SPCDPH Community-Based Program (CBP) Manager Virginia Lopez, SPCDPH CBP TXPAN Community Health Liaison Nicole Alonzo, County Judge David Krebs, San Patricio County WIC Director Meliza Garcia, WIC LVN, IBCLC Elizabeth Adame, WIC Administrative Assistant Belia Rodriguez, and WIC Clerks Yolanda Chapa and Rebecca Burris; second row, Pct. 2 Commissioner Gary Moore, Pct. 1 Commissioner Sonia Lopez, Pct. 3 Commissioner Lilly Wilkerson and Pct. 4 Commissioner Howard Gillespie.

During the weekly commissioners court hearing held on Aug. 2, the commissioners along with the San Patricio County Department of Public Health (SPCDPH) Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Project Director Meliza Garcia officially proclaimed the month of August as National Breastfeeding Month. County Judge David Krebs signed the proclamation surrounded by county commissioners and staff from the SPCDPH and WIC program. 

National Breastfeeding Month was created to promote and highlight the importance of the practice, with both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommending that infants be breastfed exclusively for their first six months.

This year, the Texas WIC program has established the theme as ‘Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.’ 

Garcia said this theme was chosen “to ensure moms have the support they need to meet their breastfeeding goals.”

According to Texas WIC Director Edgar Curtis, research shows  mothers benefit “tremendously” from community support, and support for their own social network.

Garcia continued, “Texas WIC is encouraging local and regional WIC offices, lactation centers, health care providers, employers and communities to team up in promoting the benefits of breastfeeding and show their support for nursing mothers.”

Throughout the month of August, Texas WIC clinics will be hosting educational activities focused on “bringing awareness to racial disparities in breastfeeding rates and addressing the barriers faced by these mothers,: including World Breastfeeding Week, which was Aug. 1-7, Native American Week during Aug. 8-14, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Week during Aug. 15-21 and Black Breastfeeding week during Aug. 25-31. 

“Health care providers, the community and employers need to understand it benefits not only mom and baby, but also the community in terms of reduced sick days and savings for the health care system,” said Texas WIC Infant Feeding Branch Manager Andrea Urquidez. “We need to increase awareness of laws that support breastfeeding in public and the workplace.”

For more information about National Breastfeeding Month and the educational resources offered in the county, contact Meliza Garcia, at 361-587-3510. 

•jwillden@mysoutex.com•

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