The Ionia County Health Department supports breastfeeding mothers with classes that teach how to
overcome barriers to breastfeeding, e.g. tender nipples, latch difficulties and positioning that benefits
mother and baby. The Health Department has an expert nurse (International Breastfeeding Certified
Lactation Counselor/IBCLC)) and a Peer Support counselor that have special training in to assist mothers
preparing for breastfeeding, answer questions, resolve issues and help moms to meet their
breastfeeding goals. For help call Laurie Brinks, BSN, RN, IBCLC or Trisha Eady at the Ionia Count Health Department number 616-527-5341 or they may be reached through the WIC direct line at 616-527-
In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics recalibrated the national dialogue to breastfeeding,
deeming it a public health issue and not just a lifestyle choice. The purpose was to send a message that
supporting breastfeeding is an important public health issue that merits societal support. Babies that
are exclusively breastfed are 14 more times likely to survive the first 6 months of life and starting
breastfeeding in the first day after birth can reduce the risk of newborn death by up to 45 percent.
Congratulations to those of you considering breastfeeding your baby. Breast milk supplies all the
necessary nutrients, in the proper proportion, and protects against allergies and disease. Breastfeeding
is a very special gift to give your baby.