2017 Breastfeeding Awareness Month


WHEREAS, the health and well-being of all Virginians are of utmost importance to the prosperity and livelihood of the Commonwealth’s families and communities; and

WHEREAS, the United States Breastfeeding Committee declared August National Breastfeeding Month, and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action declared August 1-7, 2017, as World Breastfeeding Week to promote breastfeeding as a key to sustainable development; and

WHEREAS, exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first six months after birth with continued breastfeeding for at least twelve months ensures that both mothers and infants receive maximum health benefits; and

WHEREAS, breast milk is physiologically tailored to meet the needs of infants’ maturing digestive systems, which ensures proper growth and development, helps prevent a variety of acute and chronic diseases, and improves a child’s neurodevelopment; and

WHEREAS, breastfeeding provides women with health benefits such as reduced risk of ovarian, uterine, and breast cancer, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure; and

WHEREAS, breastfeeding enriches the bond between a mother and her baby; and

WHEREAS, comprehensive lactation support programs increase employee retention rates, decrease absenteeism, decrease health care costs, improve employee productivity, and support family-friendly communities; and

WHEREAS, all Virginia employers are encouraged to accommodate the breastfeeding needs of mothers and their children; and

WHEREAS, as of July 1, 2015, pursuant to Va. Code § 32.1-370, “A mother may breastfeed in any place where the mother is lawfully present. . .”; and

WHEREAS, keeping breastfeeding high on the public health agenda is critical in improving the health and well-being of mothers and babies;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize August 2017, as NATIONAL BREASTFEEDING AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.