By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Mothers who are having breastfeeding concerns, such as latching, milk supply, comfortable breastfeeding positions, and other breastfeeding questions, may now use the BONUS helpline that connects mothers to an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLCs) who can help. The free helpline is intended to offer breastfeeding support and reassurance to mothers during this special time in their lives.
Beginning today residents can dial 2-1-1 from their phone and ask for breastfeeding help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Department of Public Health’s Baby’s Optimal Nutrition with Ultimate Support (BONUS) Program is worked with the United Way 211 system to establish the BONUS helpline.
The BONUS program is funded through First 5 San Bernardino to help all breastfeeding moms, regardless of income. The main goal of the program is to increase the number of babies exclusively breastfeeding for six months or longer.
Multiple health and economic benefits of breastfeeding are significant for the individual, community and public health:
- Breastfeeding protects babies from infections and illnesses such as diarrhea, ear infections and pneumonia.
- Children who are breastfeed for six months or longer are less likely to become obese.
- Breastfeed babies are less likely to develop asthma or be at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers and diabetes.
- Families that exclusively breastfeed can save between $1,200-1,500 in formula costs in the first year.
The BONUS Program and the breastfeeding support BONUS helpline aims to remove obstacles that mothers might encounter when they attempt to breastfeed, which supports the Countywide Vision of improving health and promoting wellness in the community.
For more information about the BONUS Program, please call 909-388-5668 or 909-388-5676, Monday-Friday, 8 to 5 p.m. For other Public Health programs and services visit our webpage at http://www.sbcounty.gov/dph.