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Fill-in-the-Blank News Release for County Health Departments
August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week

For Release: _________, 2009
Contact:(Administrator’s name, title)
____ County Health Department
(Telephone #)

Breastfeeding Saves Lives in Emergency Situations
World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, Breastfeeding- A Vital Emergency Response

The _____ County Health Department is promoting World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, with the theme Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response. This theme aims to draw attention to the vital role that breastfeeding plays in emergencies.

Emergency preparedness is essential and breastfeeding provides a shield against disease, stress, and dehydration for a baby or young child in an emergency situation. During a disaster there may not be clean water to mix formula or sanitize bottles and nipples, or a means to preserve formula if there is no electricity. The cleanest, safest food for an infant is human milk because it is readily available.

“In emergency situations, the safety net that breastfeeding provides to babies is profound. Research shows that infants are the most vulnerable in an emergency, and are more prone to getting diarrhea and other illnesses,” said _____ County Health Department Administrator ____.

“Babies who are breastfed receive a safe, reliable food source that is full of anti-infective properties to protect them from these diseases. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants receive only human milk (no formula, food or water) for the first six months of life, with continued breastfeeding and the addition of complimentary foods for up to one year or beyond,” ______ added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that it is safe to continue breastfeeding if mother or baby has the flu, including the new influenza A H1N1 virus (swine flu virus), since the infant would likely have been exposed to the virus before the mother’s symptoms appeared. Mothers make antibodies to fight diseases that they come into contact with, and pass along this immunity to their infants through their breastmilk. This is very important in young babies when their immune system is still developing. If the mother is too
sick to breastfeed, it is recommended that she pump her milk and have someone give the expressed milk to the baby.

During World Breastfeeding Week, the _____ County Health Department plans the following activities: (list local activities here.)

For more information about breastfeeding and how to find a lactation consultant in your area call the _____ County Health Department at (phone number), visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health breastfeeding Web site at http://bis.health.ok.gov, or call the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline at 1-877-271-MILK.

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