The Columbia County Division of Health Staff is very supportive of your choice to breastfeed and understands breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. We are dedicated to making breastfeeding work for families because we know that health outcomes differ greatly for mothers and infants who formula feed compared with those who breastfeed.

Studies show that feeding babies formula instead of breast milk greatly increases the risk of illness and death for both babies and their mothers.

Risks to infants fed formula:

  • Twice as likely to die from SIDS *
  • More than three times more likely to be hospitalized for lower respiratory tract infection in the first year of life *
  • Nearly three times more likely to develop gastrointestinal (GI) infection *
  • More than twice as likely to develop necrotizing entercolitis (a potentially fatal disorder of the intestine) *
  • Twice as likely to get ear infections
  • Decrease in IQ of 7.5 points
  • Significantly more likely to have leukemia, asthma, eczema, diabetes, to be obese, and to die from infectious diseases

* Among the top ten leading causes of death in US infants.

Risks to mothers who formula feed their infants:

  • More than twice as likely to have breast cancer
  • Significantly more likely to have ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and to be obese

Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information and the support of their family, health care providers, and community. The Columbia County Division of Health Staff is committed to helping babies in our community begin their lives as healthy as they were meant to be through breastfeeding. Please contact our breastfeeding educators listed below for help and guidance.

All statistics obtained from:
The Risks of Not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants
Alison Stuebe
Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Fall; 2(4): 222–231.
PMCID: PMC2812877

Breast pumps are available to breastfeeding women.

If you are a Badgercare recipient and you have a need for a breast pump, your medical provider can request one through Badgercare. 

Columbia County WIC has breast pumps available to their participants.  Contact WIC at 608-742-9254. 

Vanessa Chapman

Columbia County WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor

Linda Cromheecke, RD

Certified Lactation Specialist
Columbia County WIC Director
608-742-9754 or Email

Allison Hensel, RN

Certified Lactation Specialist
608-742-9743 or Email

Kristal Rykiel, RN

Certified Lactation Specialist
608-742-9274 or Email

Melissa Smith, DTR

Certified Lactation Specialist
608-742-9254 or Email

Heather Stenberg, RN

Certified Breastfeeding Educator
608-742-9741 or Email