The Healthy Start Partnership of Herkimer County is a coalition of health and nutrition professionals who are working to promote healthy weights in childbearing women and their infants. Agencies involved include Community Maternity Services, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Herkimer County, Herkimer County HealthNet, Herkimer County Public Health, Herkimer –Madison WIC, Mid-York Child Care Coordinating Council, and the Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network.
What does breastfeeding have to do with healthy weights? Women who do not breastfeed are heavier after each child compared to women who breastfeed for at least 6 months. Babies who are not breastfed are at increased risk for overweight and obesity in later life.
The first campaign in the local effort aims to increase the acceptance of breastfeeding by women and the community. Launched in January, the campaign has multiple components including billboard advertising; posters and other signage in community locations; TV and radio public service announcements; information for health teachers, school nurses and family and consumer science teachers; information for health care providers; presentations to the community; and a mailing to local businesses.
The Healthy Start Partnership includes an 8-county area served by Bassett Healthcare. It is part of a project being done by Christine M. Olson and her colleagues of Cornell University. The project’s goal is to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of the environmental interventions that help communities promote and support healthy lifestyles for women and their children.
The Healty Start Partnership includes and is focusing on the following projects:
The Business Case for Breastfeeding (with link to http://www.nysbreastfeeding.org/index.html): A comprehensive program designed to educate employers about the value of supporting breastfeeding employees in the workplace. The program highlights how such support contributes to the success of the entire business. The Business Case for Breastfeeding offers tools to help employers provide worksite lactation support and privacy for breastfeeding mothers to express milk.
Eat 3: Eat Well, Eat Local & Eat Together.
Why Eat Well? It’s no secret that many adults and children in the US are eating too much food (more calories than we need), too many unhealthy foods, and skimping on the healthy foods. The result is a so-called epidemic of obesity and high rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Why Eat Local? When you buy direct from local farmers, your dollars stay within your community, and strengthen the local economy.
Why Eat Together? Family members who eat home-prepared family meals eat better. This means eating more fruits and vegetables, more dairy foods and whole grains, and fewer soft drinks.
Eat 3 Recipes