By Leslie Terjesen on Thursday, August 4, 2016

“World Breastfeeding Week takes place the week of August 1 – 7, 2016,” stated Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator.  “This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development,” which highlights the importance of breastfeeding in a child’s development and health.”            

            The OCHD’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is the third largest in the State of New Jersey but the percentage of children breastfed who are enrolled in the WIC program is the highest in the state.  There are over 20,000 monthly clients in the Ocean County WIC program.  Pregnant women are encouraged to breastfeed, if possible, and needed support through the WIC program is always available to new mothers.

Brunilda Price, Coordinator of OCHD Community Health Services, said, “Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins protein, and fat; everything necessary for your baby’ growth.   It is also more easily digested by an infant than formula.   Breast milk contains antibodies from the mother that helps your baby fight off certain infections. . Breastfeeding also lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies.  Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, , respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea. They also have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor.  It is also believed that breastfeeding plays a role in the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).”

              Regenye added, “The OCHD WIC program works diligently to promote and support breastfeeding and again, offers breastfeeding support every day of the week for the new moms who use our services.

            Please visit the OCHD website at or follow the Health Department on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like the Health Department on Facebook.  For those who have questions or to see if they are eligible for  WIC services, please the WIC Program at 732-341-9700, ext. 7520 in Toms River, 732-370-0122 in Lakewood, or 609-978-2500 in Manahawkin.”