LOCKPORT – The Niagara County Health Department, which has been promoting breast-feeding of infants and the availability of space at businesses for employees to do so, has received grant money for the third consecutive year to expand its efforts.
Elaine C. Roman, director of the department’s Division of Public Health Planning, said the National Association of County and City Health Officials presented Niagara County with a $15,000 grant at a recent meeting in Dallas.
Roman said the money will be used to bolster two new local initiatives on the breast-feeding front.
The Health Department will be working with a maternal child health worker from the Tuscarora Nation of Indians to train her as a native-certified lactation counselor for at-risk Tuscarora women.
Also, the county will be working with a military peer support network to promote breast-feeding and reduce postpartum depression among female veterans.
Roman told the Board of Health that the effort will use MBSR, which stands for Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction techniques.
This is actually the fourth year the national health officials’ group has presented a grant to Niagara County. The first year’s funds were used for a program involving companion animals, but the subsequent grants have been used in the breast-feeding effort, Roman said.
The Health Department also is planning to present recognition certificates to some local businesses that have set up lactation rooms for women to use in feeding their babies.
They include Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and two Lockport companies, Diversified Manufacturing and Candlelight Cabinetry.
Previously, seven other local companies had said yes to the department’s request to offer lactation rooms.
Three Health Department staffers are certified in the program, one as an advanced nurse lactation consultant and two as certified lactation counselors.