Health

Louisville’s Department of Public Health and Wellness is throwing a picnic Saturday to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding.

Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Breastfeeding can also help protect infants and moms against some illnesses and diseases, like diabetes, ovarian cancer, skin infections and asthma, according to Robin Gillespie, lactation supervisor with the health department.

“It causes babies to have fewer ear infections, colds and they have different immunities that they can’t get from anything else,” Gillespie said.

She said events like these can be crucial for helping soon-to-be moms.

“You need to talk to mom prenatally, because that’s when moms figure out how they’re going to feed their baby,” Gillespie said. “So you don’t really want to wait to the hospital to get them the information, because they’ve already chosen whatever method they’re going to use.”

In addition, breastfeeding can prove to be difficult for women who might not have family members who can give advice on how to get an infant to latch.

“Because as being a new mom, it can be very hard,” Gillespie said. “And it can be very stressful.”

The picnic will have information on those benefits, as well as story time for kids and face painting. It will last from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, August 10 at Breslin Park.

Lisa Gillespie is WFPL's Health and Innovation Reporter.