By ANJANA SCHROEDER
Capital News Service
LANSING – Cultural shifts are encouraging and teaching mothers the benefits of breastfeeding despite challenges in gathering community support, according to health experts. Julie Lothamer, a lactation consultant for the Michigan Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, said, “Fifteen years ago moms didn’t want to hear about breastfeeding at all but, now at least they’re interested in getting information.”
There are health benefits for both baby and mother, experts say. Babies who are breastfed have a reduced risk of becoming overweight or obese and getting childhood leukemia, allergies, ear infections and types 1 and 2 diabetes. The program is part of the Department of Community Health. The breastfeeding coordinator for WIC, Kathy Daly-Koziel, said, “The primary voice for breastfeeding has been WIC, but we are building in terms of partnerships.”
One of WIC’s local partners is the Michigan Breastfeeding Network, where Lothamer is treasurer.