November 18, 2019 – Nevada County ranks first in the state for exclusive breastfeeding rates in 2018! On September 24th, the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH), Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division (MCAH) announced the release of the California 2018 in-hospital breastfeeding Initiation rates. The MCAH monitors the in-hospital infant feeding practices utilizing data obtained during newborn screening for genetic diseases. There are two data points considered for in-hospital feeding practices: Any Breastfeeding and Exclusive Breastfeeding. Not only did Nevada County rank first in Exclusive Breastfeeding, our county also ranked third in the state for the Any Breastfeeding category.

It is well known that breastfeeding is the ideal nutrition for infants. It is also no surprise that it is recommended that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, and is the best food for babies in their first year of life, even after starting them on solid food.

Because of the efforts of our local hospitals, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) and Tahoe Forest Hospital (TFH), along with the support of Nevada County’s WIC program, Nevada County’s children under the age of five are likely to have reduced risk for infections, iron deficiency anemia, excessive weight, and short stature. Breastfeeding is shown to reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), asthma, and diabetes. Research also demonstrates that mothers who breastfeed have lower risk for postpartum depression, postpartum weight retention, and ovarian and breast cancer.

And if you needed even more reasons to support breastfeeding, breastfeeding is economical, good for the environment (creating zero wasted packaging), saves time, and even when normal supplies of food and water are unavailable, babies can still be breastfed.

Congratulations to Nevada County WIC, SNMH, TFH, and especially our mothers for making it a priority to start lives of little ones off on the right foot.

For more information on Nevada County WIC Programs’ Breastfeeding Peer Counseling services, contact WIC at 530-265-1454 or visit