Franklin County has received the “Community Supporting Breastfeeding” designation from the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc. (KBC). The designation was presented by Brenda Bandy, executive director of the KBC.

Franklin County is now one of 25 communities in Kansas to receive this designation given to communities in Kansas who are building a culture of breastfeeding support.

Bandy said Franklin County received the “Community Supporting Breastfeeding” designation for achieving a high level of community support for breastfeeding as outlined in the designation’s six criteria. She said Franklin County, as a “Community Supporting Breastfeeding”, provides support to breastfeeding families through their local breastfeeding coalition, hospitals and breastfeeding support groups. In addition, local businesses support mothers needing to nurse in public, employers support their breastfeeding employees and child care providers support their breastfeeding families.

Bandy pointing out many nursing mothers abandon breastfeeding when faced with obstacles because they lack support.

“Franklin County has woven a net of support through which no mother will fall,” said.

She cited research showing the importance of breastfeeding support throughout the community, not in just the health department or hospital. Adequate support for breastfeeding benefits the community through healthier citizens, a stronger economy and healthier environment through savings in health care expenses, increased family connection and reduced post-consumer waste from formula tins, Bandy said.

It is estimated Kansas could save $27 million in health care costs and prevent an excess of seven infant deaths and 22 maternal deaths per year if breastfeeding were scaled up.

“We want to shine the spotlight on communities who are making it easier for mothers to meet their breastfeeding goals and serving as an example to other communities in Kansas to follow suit,” Lisette Jacobson, chair of the KBC Board of directors, said.

All communities in Kansas are eligible for the “Community Supporting Breastfeeding Designation. Applications are available at http://ksbreastfeeding.org/cause/communities-supporting-breastfeeding/.