Local parents learn the benefits of breastfeeding

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Parents eager to learn about breastfeeding attended an educational event at the Florida Department of Health in Bay County Saturday morning.

“It’s about educating our moms,” said board-certified lactation consultant Sandy McCroan. “As you saw earlier, Dr. Davis was here. She was speaking on safety for children, infants, and support. We’re here introducing moms to other moms so they can have that support system.”

Breastfeed Bay, the Breastfeeding Task Force of Bay County hosted the event in honor of National WIC Breastfeeding Week.

It’s a campaign geared towards educating parents on the importance of breastfeeding.

“You realize the importance not only for safety, for the health benefits of breastfeeding, but also in situations where we have formula shortages, or if there’s no safe water, breastfeeding is easy,” McCroan said.

The event is also meant to bring mothers together and reduce the stigma that can be connected with breastfeeding in public.

“Don’t be embarrassed,” said mother Destiny Shay. “I know with my first I was shy to breastfeed out in public and I would always try and cover up, but honestly it’s a natural thing. You do it and it’s a good bonding experience with your baby.”

However, if a mother can’t breastfeed, there are other options.

“For those moms, there are other things they can do,” McCroan said. “Skin to skin, obviously you have no choice but to use formula or if you’re able to get donor milk from a reputable donor.”

Parents also learned about car safety, water safety, firearm safety, and more.

Mothers can learn more about breastfeeding by calling WIC’s 24/7 hotline number at 850-747-5775.

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