Texas Aims to Improve Health of Women, Babies

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HHSC Addresses Disparities, Highlights Breastfeeding Month

Image for illustration purposes only
Image for illustration purposes only

Mega Doctor News

AUSTIN – Texas is working toward better health for mothers and babies by addressing disparities, highlighting Texas WIC’s breastfeeding support program, and providing information and breastfeeding help to families at events throughout the state this month.

August kicks off National Breastfeeding Month, and Texas WIC is adopting the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action’s theme, “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding!” to celebrate the meaningful contributions that mothers and fathers make to infant health. Texas WIC is administered by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

“Team HHS is committed to meeting women where they are through the expansion of resources, outreach, and support to address disparities and ensure all Texas women have the opportunity to meet their breastfeeding goals,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, HHS Executive Commissioner. “Too many Texas women are unable to meet their personal breastfeeding goals, and we know that black women experience this gap at higher rates than the rest of the population. I encourage all Texans to join us in this effort as we work toward better outcomes for mothers and their babies.”

Breastfeeding rates are tied to improved health outcomes for moms and babies, though data from Texas WIC as of July 2017 shows disproportionately lower rates of breastfeeding among black infants. At that time, of all infants in WIC, 85.3 percent were ever breastfed, compared to 78.6 percent of black infants. Using this data, Texas WIC prioritizes breastfeeding support for black women through a comprehensive array of lactation support programs and initiatives including adoption of evidence-based practices, training, and professional education, promotion and awareness activities, community partner engagement, and quality improvement initiatives.

“WIC clinics across the state of Texas will celebrate National Breastfeeding Month in August with local events that are open to the entire community. They include many activities to empower families and communities to protect, promote and support breastfeeding,” said Edgar Curtis, Texas WIC Director.

Successful breastfeeding takes teamwork to support new moms, and Texas WIC shares information online through its Breastmilk Counts website, support groups, classes and personalized counseling available through local community partnerships that operate WIC clinics across the state. To find a WIC office near you, visit the “Find WIC” page.

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