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updated: 7/31/2013 5:00 PM

Breastfeeding benefits babies, moms

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Dave Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--August is Breastfeeding Month in Illinois and the DuPage County Health Department reminds residents that breastfeeding is the normal and expected way to feed all babies, with numerous benefits to both babies and mothers.

Trained specialists in the Health Department's Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program offer support, encouragement and education to WIC mothers about the advantages of breastfeeding their babies.

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Health experts around the world recommend exclusive breastfeeding (nothing but breast milk) for six months and continued breastfeeding after a baby begins solid food up to age one or two. Human milk is full of antibodies that help protect babies from many diseases, including ear infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, allergies, leukemia and diabetes. Breastfeeding can even help the baby's mother by reducing her risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

The Health Department's WIC program strives to present breastfeeding as the accepted standard. Many mothers have questions about breastfeeding. Health Department staff answers their specific concerns and first-time mothers have a chance to talk to other WIC mothers who have breastfed and they provide peer support.

For more information, follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.dupagehealth.org.

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