ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The state Health Department is awarding more than $7 million to six organizations to establish breastfeeding community support networks across New York.

At the same time, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker is urging all health care providers in the state to take steps to promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.

Zucker said the goal is to make exclusive breastfeeding the norm rather than the exception. The health agency noted that breastfeeding has proven health benefits, including reducing infections, reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes and obesity.

Among women, breastfeeding reduces postpartum bleeding and lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancers and type 2 diabetes.


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