RAF Lakenheath celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- The Health and Wellness Center, Women Infants and Children Overseas, and the Airman and Family Readiness Center are joining together on Aug. 7 from 10:30 a.m. to noon to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week at the RAF Lakenheath Airman and Family Readiness Center.

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action promotes and supports breastfeeding mothers across the globe in celebrations during the first week of August each year. The theme for the 2009 event is "Breastfeeding - Prepared for Life."

The organization recognizes the importance of supporting mothers with solid breastfeeding information so they can be successful at any time, especially in any emergency situation such as floods, earthquakes or wildfires.

All major medical organizations promote breastfeeding as the perfect, species-specific milk for infants, exclusively for six months and throughout the first 12 months of life and longer if the mother and child desire. Breastfeeding is an instinctive and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned with experience. The reality is that almost all women can feed their babies and will have an adequate milk, supply but they are best served with proper education and support in the process.

Mother's milk is perfect for infants and provides many amazing properties and advantages over artificial baby milk. Breastmilk contains immune properties that can deliver a particular antibody in response to new germs in the baby's environment. 

Children are the most vulnerable in emergencies. Child mortality can soar from two to 70 times higher than average due to diarrhea, respiratory illness and malnutrition according to the World Health Organization. Emergencies can happen anywhere in the world and often destroy what is "normal", leaving caregivers struggling to cope and infants susceptible to disease and death.

Our organizations recognize and encourage the importance of providing breast milk to children. We also know that many mothers have overcome considerable obstacles to breastfeed their children. Along with the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, we want to celebrate your achievements and thank you for providing the best start to your child's life. So, if you are currently breastfeeding or support breastfeeding, you are invited to participate in this event. It will be a child-friendly environment and refreshments will be provided. For answers to your questions or to RSVP for this event, please call the RAF Lakenheath HAWC at 226-2710, the WIC office at 226-1728, or the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 226-3847.