World Breastfeeding Week 2013

8/1 – 8/7/2013

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme, ‘BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: CLOSE TO MOTHERS’, highlights Breastfeeding Peer Counselling. Even when mothers are able to get off to a good start, all too often in the weeks or months after delivery there is a sharp decline in breastfeeding rates, and practices, particularly exclusive breastfeeding. The period when mothers do not visit a healthcare facility is the time when a community support system for mothers is essential. Continued support to sustain breastfeeding can be provided in a variety of ways. Traditionally, support is provided by the family. As societies change, however, in particular with urbanization, support for mothers from a wider circle is needed, whether it is provided by trained health workers, lactation consultants, community leaders, or from friends who are also mothers, and/or from fathers/partners.

The Peer Counselling Program is a cost effective and highly productive way to reach a larger number of mothers more frequently. Peer Counsellors can be anyone from the community who is trained to learn to support mothers. Trained Peer Counsellors, readily available in the community become the lifeline for mothers with breastfeeding questions and issues. “The key to best breastfeeding practices is continued day-to-day support for the breastfeeding mother within her home and community.”

Source: World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action

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New Opportunities for Integrating and Improving Health Care for Women, Children, and Their Families


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act gives states new tools and funding to integrate public and private delivery of health care services. Many states are already integrating services for low-income women and children to improve outcomes and reduce costs. For example, many state Medicaid agencies and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, public health agencies, provider groups, private insurers, children’s hospitals, and family organizations are partnering to share resources including technical assistance, coordinated care, and quality improvement efforts. This issue brief highlights the efforts of Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Vermont to integrate health care services for low-income women and children, especially through state Title V maternal and child health programs.

Source: The Commonwealth Fund/AMCHP

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IHS Divison of Oral Health – Early Childhood Caries Initiative

Early Childhood Caries (ECC, early childhood tooth decay) is an infectious disease that can start as soon as an infant’s teeth erupt. ECC can progress rapidly and may have a lasting detrimental impact on a child’s health and well-being. ECC is a serious health problem.1 ECC is defined as any caries experience in a child under 6 years of age.2 The 1999 Oral Health Survey of American Indian and Alaska Native Dental Patients found that 79% of children between the ages of 2-5 years had experienced dental caries, and 68% of this age group had untreated decay at the time of the dental examination.3

The Indian Health Service (IHS) Early Childhood Caries (ECC) Collaborative is a multi-faceted program designed to enhance knowledge about early childhood caries prevention and early intervention among not only dental providers, but also all healthcare providers and the community. The collaborative provides the entire healthcare team with the tools to begin a successful ECC program. Increasing access to oral health care and evidence-based prevention is a collaborative effort that must include the oral health care team, medical providers, Community Health Representatives, Head Start staff, and Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program staff. The Collaborative also provides the framework to dental providers for ECC early intervention focusing on “caries stabilization”.

Source: IHS Divison of Oral Health – ECC Initiative

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MCH Navigator | A Training Portal for MCH Professionals

Welcome to the MCH Navigator, a learning portal for maternal and child health professionals, students, and others working to improve the health and well being of women, children, and families.

The training opportunities you’ll find here include archived webcasts and webinars, instructional modules and self-guided short courses, and video and audio recordings of lectures and presentations from university courses and conferences.

Source: Maternal and Child Health Bureau

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National Women’s Health and Fitness Day

This unique event, set for Wednesday, September 28, 2011, is the largest national health promotion day for women. Similar in concept to the successful National Senior Health & Fitness Day, over 100,000 women of all ages will participate in events at more than 1,400 local registered event sites throughout the U.S. — on the same day. The event’s goal: to promote the importance of health awareness and regular physical activity for women of all ages.

Source: Health Information Resource Center

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Affordable Care Act Ensures Women Receive Preventive Services at No Additional Cost


Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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