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Breast-feeding information event is on tap for Saturday
Event to be held at 10 a.m.
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Breast-feeding in the park

What: A public health event providing information on the benefits of breast-feeding

When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday

Where: Woodmen of the World Park, Woodmen Hall Road, Cleveland


Some say it should only be done in private. But on Saturday, breast-feeding will get a very public audience.

Georgia Division of Public Health's Breast-feeding in the Park event will bring health officials, breast-feeding enthusiasts and mothers or mothers-to-be together in Cleveland for an informational event.

Chrysta Andrews, nutrition program manager the Division of Public Health's District 2 office, said breast-feeding can be a taboo subject surrounded
by misinformation.

"A lot of people just don't know the true benefits when it comes to breast-feeding," she said. "A lot of them think formula is equal when really, no, there is a big huge difference between formula and breast milk."

The Georgia Department of Community Health promotes breast-feeding during the first year of an infant's life, but Andrews said many mothers don't know the practice's true benefits. She said studies have shown if every baby in the U.S. was breast fed for a month after birth, the nation would save millions in health care costs.

"With breast-feeding there is a lot of antibodies, a lot of good nutrients in breast milk," she said.

"It helps protect the baby from many, many diseases."

The breast-feeding event will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature story time for children, door prizes, a baby sling demonstration and counseling sessions.

Attendees will be given a free copy of "Breastfeeding: A Parent's Guide," by Amy Spangler.

This is the second year Breastfeeding in the Park has been held and last year about 25 women attended.

Andrews said some women don't breast-feed out of embarrassment, while others worry about returning to work or school.

"A lot of people think, ‘Oh if I breast-feed I have to expose myself to everyone,'" she said. "That's not actually true. That's why we're doing the baby sling demonstration, to show that you can wear your baby in a more discrete manner."

Andrews said Public Health's District 2 office in Gainesville offers free counseling to help mothers develop a breast-feeding plan.

"Sometimes that is exclusive breast-feeding," she said. "Sometimes it does include a bottle of pumped breast milk or a formula. We make breast-feeding work for them."