August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, 2023

PIERRE, S.D. – Throughout the week ahead and continuing for the duration of the month of August, South Dakota joins the nation and world in celebrating and supporting World Breastfeeding Awareness Week (August 1-7) and National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.

"When it comes to nourishing our infants, breastfeeding offers numerous significant health benefits," stated Melissa Magstadt, Secretary of the Department of Health. "It is a remarkable way to provide essential nutrients to babies during their earliest stages of life."

The South Dakota Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is committed to supporting breastfeeding mothers by providing nutritious food, breast pumps, and education. The program offers access to mom-to-mom support through peer counselors and professional support through WIC Designated Breastfeeding Experts. The WIC program provides individualized nutrition education, nutritious foods, and support to help their family lead a healthy lifestyle while empowering moms to be the best moms they can be, and connecting them with care and healthy living programs and services.

“We acknowledge that many new mothers face challenges when it comes to breastfeeding, and it is crucial for us as a community to provide a robust support system,” added Secretary Magstadt. “Successful long-term breastfeeding requires the collective effort of fathers, families, childcare providers, employers, healthcare professionals, schools, churches, businesses, and community members throughout South Dakota.”

The South Dakota Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Pledge is one way communities can support breastfeeding mothers. Over 700 worksites across the state have taken the online pledge. All pledged businesses display a Breastfeeding Welcome Here window cling to publicly show their support.

Nineteen local DOH offices received the annual WIC Breastfeeding Gold Award of Excellence awarded by The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the US Department of Agriculture for outstanding breastfeeding promotion and support. These offices included Plankinton, Rapid City, Belle Fourche, Platte, Wagner, Clark, Webster, Clear Lake, Bowdle, Alexandria, Madison, Deadwood, Spearfish, Canton, Salem, Sturgis, Howard, Sioux Falls, and Pine Ridge.

To learn more about breastfeeding, contact your local South Dakota Department of Health office or visit WIC.

View Executive Proclamation signed by Governor Kristi Noem: August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month