BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health provides a number of breastfeeding support services to not only locals but to all of those across the state.

Last year alone, around 250 people reached out to them for help. 

Some of the services they offer are weighing your baby, safety tips, feeding, and newborn care education.

The county has lactation counselors who are open to in-office and at-home visits.

If you live in Burleigh, all visits can be done at home, but those outside of the county have to come in.

But, no matter where you live the services and support are free.

While breastfeeding is natural, experts say it can take time to learn for both mom and baby, which is why these services are so helpful.

“Breastfeeding overall is important for maternal-infant health, we have good research that shows that breast milk feeding reduces the risk of illness in infants, gas illnesses, respiratory illnesses, and it’s also beneficial for mothers too in terms of decrease in long-term chronic conditions like type-2 diabetes, and cardiac disease,” said RN RBCLC, Cassie Geithman. 

In North Dakota, the breastfeeding initiation rate is about 87%, which drops off to nearly 57% after babies turn six months old.

To schedule a free session with a certified lactation counselor or learn more information about the services provided, you can visit Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health’s website.