by Karen Mead-Elford, staff writer

JENNIFER BABCOCK stands in front of the registration table at the 8th Annual Breastfeeding Walk in McCurdy Park, Corunna on Wednesday. Babcock, a Peer Counselor for the Shiawassee County Health Department, organized the event to help promote further education on the topic. This is her third year as head organizer.

   August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month. (Independent Photos/Karen Mead-Elford)

August is Breastfeeeding Awareness Month in Michigan, and to promote accurate information on the topic, the Shiawassee County Health Department held its 8th Annual Breastfeeding Walk in McCurdy Park, Corunna on Wednesday, Aug. 3. Governor Snyder declared August as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in an effort to reduce infant mortality and increase the overall health of both mothers and babies by establishing and maintaining natural breast milk production. The idea is to delay early infant introduction to food sources other than the mother’s breast milk.

As well as holding the Annual Walk, the Breastfeeding Awareness event also included free giveaways, raffle drawings, vendors and offered educational information provided from area agencies, such as the Pregnancy Resource Center in downtown Owosso, and the new DeVries Mobile Farmers Market, which is housed at the DeVries Nature Conservancy on N. M-52.

Jennifer Babcock, of Owosso, who was the primary organizer of this special event at McCurdy Park, has been the Peer Counselor at the Shiawassee County Health Department for about two years. She is also certified as a Lactation Counselor. She briefly described the new Breastmilk Is Best Support (BIBS) group, too. BIBS meets the first and fourth Monday of each month from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church on Mason St., Owosso. BIBS is open to all community members and works in conjunction with the Baby Pantry.

“Breastfeeding is a passion of mine,” shared Babcock. “I have three breastfed children: ages 21, 11, and 10. I usually meet with pregnant woman to educate them about breastfeeding. I also see them when they bring the baby in.”

It is also worth noting that the Shiawassee County WIC office has advanced from 48th to 45th in the state this year in relation to their capacity to help clients, according to Babcock. The Shiawassee WIC office is located on Mack St. in Corunna. There is also a clinic in Shaftsburg. For those who aren’t familiar, WIC (Women, Infants, Children) is an income based, nutrition program involving nutrition education, one-on-one counseling, WIC Bridge Card benefits, and help with breastfeeding.

Babcock stated that over the last eight years of the Annual Breastfeeding Walk, about 80 to 85 people have attended. This year, they changed it up a little by allowing moms associated with the health department to set up tents representing their own home businesses to draw even more people in. The hot day did not detract from having a large crowd.

Walk Promoting Breastfeeding Awareness Month Held at McCurdy Park was last modified: August 8th, 2016 by Karen Elford