2016-08-10 / Front Page

Breastfeeding Awareness Event A Success

By Rosie Cunningham

More than 40 walkers turned out Friday in Delhi to promote breastfeeding awareness. 
Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter More than 40 walkers turned out Friday in Delhi to promote breastfeeding awareness. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter DELHI - The Delaware Opportunities (DO) Inc. WIC (Women, Infants, Children) program hosted a breastfeeding awareness walk, Friday, Aug. 5 at the Delaware County Courthouse Square in Delhi. Registration began at 10 a.m. and the walk kicked off at 11 a.m.

The walk was held in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Awareness Week and mothers, infants, children and community members rallied together and took a brief walk from the Courthouse Square to the entrance of SUNY Delhi and back.

WIC is a service mark of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its special supplemental nutrition program which assists and supports the health and nutrition of both mothers and children, breastfeeding promotion and support activities. According to DO WIC Director Andrea Byrne, DO, Delaware County Safe Against Violence, DO Child Care Resource and Referral, Delaware County Public Health, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County and Healthy Families of Delaware County, all were a big part of the movement.

“The breastfeeding initiative is important to me,” said Byrne, who has two children. “I didn’t have the knowledge or resources to understand how important breastfeeding is in the development of a child.”

Byrne said in Delaware County, the number of mothers who initiate breastfeeding is on the rise.

“Breastfeeding gives a child the healthiest start to life possible,” said WIC Peer Counselor Juliane Hillis. “The antibodies in breast milk provides immunity and help fight off diseases.”

Hill is one of three peer counselors at WIC. The role of a counselor is to provide 24/7 service to mothers.

“When mothers sign up, I prepare them for breastfeeding and discuss what their goals are. Many times, I offer support to a frustrated mother who is having a hard time getting her child to latch or with milk production.”

According to Byrne, 15-20 mothers a year sign up for a peer counselor.

“We also have a certified lactation counselor,” she said.

Hillis said there’s certainly some controversy over breastfeeding and some backlash in regards to breastfeeding in public.

“Delhi and the surrounding area is all about natural and healthy,” said Hillis. “Breastfeeding is natural and healthy and it’s important that a community is supportive.”

A silent auction took place with generous donations from 40-50 businesses. Snacks, beverages, face painting, crafts and games were available at no cost to supporters.

For more information, contact the Delaware Opportunities WIC Program at 607-746-1700 or

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