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WHEREAS, the health and well-being of all Virginians are of utmost importance to the prosperity and livelihood of the Commonwealth’s families and communities; and
WHEREAS, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action declared August 1-7, 2019, as World Breastfeeding Week, and the United States Breastfeeding Committee declared August as National Breastfeeding Month to promote breastfeeding as a proven primary prevention strategy; and
WHEREAS, breastfeeding enriches the bond between parent and child, and is associated with decreased childhood maltreatment; and
WHEREAS, human milk is physiologically tailored to meet the needs of infants’ maturing digestive systems, which ensures proper growth and development, and helps prevent a variety of acute and chronic diseases; and
WHEREAS, the General Assembly of Virginia enacted legislation to amend and reenact § 2.2-1201 of the Code of Virginia, relating to state agencies and employees; break time and location for employees to express breast milk; and
WHEREAS, all Virginia employers are encouraged to accommodate the needs of breastfeeding employees and their children with a comprehensive lactation support program; and
WHEREAS, through Senate Joint Resolution Number 298, with the House of Delegates concurring, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia designates August 2019 as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, as Governor, I encourage local health departments to promote breastfeeding in communities through the implementation of the Breastfeeding Friendly Health Department ten step process; and
WHEREAS, the way ahead starts with access to quality health care and health promotion, and keeping breastfeeding high on the public health agenda is critical in improving the health and well-being of our citizens;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize August 2019 as BREASTFEEDING AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.