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For Release: May 6, 2008
A new Web site is available to help educate the public about the benefits of breastfeeding for the health of babies, mothers and future generations. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) established this Web site to support various breastfeeding initiatives across the state including theOklahoma Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Initiative thatseeks to recognize worksites that support a woman’s right to breastfeed her child for as long as she chooses.
View the Web site at http://bis.health.ok.gov.
“We are excited about the potential services this new Web site will allow us to provide the citizens of Oklahoma. The Web site includes useful information and tips that can help parents, caregivers, employers, and friends be supportive of a mother’s efforts to breastfeed her child,” said OSDH Maternal and Child Health Nutritionist Nancy Bacon.
State public health officials hope that by providing this valuable resource, more mothers will begin and continue breastfeeding for longer periods of time.
Decals for businesses and organizations that want to show support for breastfeeding mothers can be ordered through the Web site along with wallet-sized information cards that explain Oklahoma’s breastfeeding laws. Additional features include:
• General information
Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after birth and continued breastfeeding for at least one year to achieve optimal health of a mother and her child. Oklahoma state law asks employers to accommodate breastfeeding mothers in the workplace by adopting policies and practices that support breastfeeding.
Employers that accommodate breastfeeding in the workplace also benefit from reduced staff turnover, reduced medical expense claims because of lower rates of infant illness, reduced absenteeism, and increased employee productivity and satisfaction.
The Web site was developed by a committee representing the following organizations: the Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates; the Oklahoma Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition; the Oklahoma Turning Point Initiative; and the Maternal and Child Health Service, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Service, and Chronic Disease Service of the OSDH.
For general information about breastfeeding or how to get the legislation cards, contact the OSDH WIC Service, Rosanne Smith at (405) 271- 4676 or 1-888-655-2942.
For information about the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Initiative recognition program or how to get decals, contact OSDH Maternal and Child Health Service, Nancy Bacon, (405) 271-4480.
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