Health Observances

December is National Influenza Vaccination Week (12/3-9/2023)

Flu is a contagious disease that can be dangerous. Almost every year, the flu causes disease in millions of people, hundreds of thousands get hospitalized, and tens of thousands die because of the flu. The CDC urges you to take the following measures to protect yourself and others from the flu.


The most important step to protect yourself against the flu viruses is getting a flu vaccine each year. All persons 6 months of age or older should get a flu vaccine. If possible, it is best to receive your shot before the end of October, or as soon as possible if after October. Flu vaccines are offered in many places, such as your doctor’s offices, health department, health center and drugstores.

Easily schedule a FREE flu shot at CVS or Walgreens 

Flu Symptoms

Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly.

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • running or stuffing nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, thought this is more common of children than adults.

Most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people, except to get medical care. If you have symptoms of flu and are in a higher-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider for further medical direction. 


November is Prematurity Awareness Month

Preterm birth is when a baby is born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. 1 in 10 infants in the United States is born preterm and may not be fully developed at birth. The brain, lungs and liver need the final weeks of pregnancy to fully develop. Births scheduled before 39 weeks should only be for medical reasons. If your pregnancy is healthy, wait for labor to begin on its own. Read “Your Baby Grows Throughout Your Entire Pregnancy” to learn more.

What are the warning signs of preterm labor?

  • Contractions (tightening of stomach muscles, or birth pains) every 10 minutes or more often
  • Change in vaginal discharge (leaking fluid or bleeding from the vagina)
  • Feeling of pressure in the pelvis (hip) area
  • Low, dull backache
  • Cramps that feel like menstrual cramps
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea

If a woman thinks that she might be having preterm labor, she should call her doctor or go to the hospital to be evaluated.

What are the risk factors for preterm labor and birth?


Additional Resources 

 October is National Dental Hygiene and SIDS Awareness Month

Dental Hygiene Month, observed every October, is an important awareness campaign aimed at promoting the importance of having good oral health. During this month dental professionals and organizations will emphasize the significance of regular dental checkups, proper brushing techniques, and the role of a balanced diet to reduce dental issues. For pregnant women, there is additional awareness put on dental hygiene because there is a critical link between oral health and prenatal wellbeing. Neglecting oral hygiene during pregnancy can have consequences not only for the mother's health but also for the baby's. Prioritizing your oral hygiene will ultimately contribute to your overall well-being and help maintain a brighter, healthier smile. 

Oral Health and Pregnancy 


Additional Resources

Medi-Cal Has it Covered(PDF, 446KB) (English| Spanish)

Medi-Cal Brochure for Pregnant Members (English)(PDF, 288KB)

Medi-Cal Cubre Servicios Dentales Durante el Embarazo (Espanol)(PDF, 166KB)


SIDS Awareness Month is another important health observance that takes place in October. It is a critical month to raise awareness about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and promote safe sleep practices. This observance seeks to educate parents, caregivers, and the general public about the factors that can reduce the risk of SIDS, such as placing babies on their backs to sleep, keeping the environment smoke-free, and using an empty crib and firm mattress for all sleeping situations. By bringing this awareness to communities, we can all protect the well-being of vulnerable infants and reduce the risk of SIDS. 

Additional Resources

What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Life? (English)(PDF, 2MB)




August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

August is recognized as National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Every year in the month of August we promote the benefits of breastfeeding, support breastfeeding parents, babies, and families. Join the celebration as we protect, promote, and support breastfeeding at the 15th Annual Breastfeeding Awareness Walk & Celebration on Saturday, August 5, 2023.

 2023 National Breastfeeding Month Weekly Observancesmpinc-breastfeeding-mother_285px.jpg
  • Week 1 (August 1-7): World Breastfeeding Week                                     
  • Week 2 (August 8-14): Indigenous Milk Medicine Week
  • Week 3 (August 15-21): Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Week  
  • Week 4 (August 25-31): Black Breastfeeding Week

Why Should I Breastfeed?

Breastfeeding has health benefits for both babies and mothers. Breast milk provides a baby with ideal nutrition and supports growth and development. Breastfeeding can also help protect baby and mom against certain illnesses and diseases. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. After six months, baby can be fed soft solid food in addition to breastmilk until twelve months old or older. Learn more about breastfeeding, click here.

Dads Can Help Too

Father/Partner can support moms before baby arrives. Opportunities to help can be at the hospital/birthing center and at home by learning more about breastfeeding, sharing mom’s plans to breastfeed only with hospital staff, and helping care for baby. Click here to learn about Breastfeeding Basics for Dads. 


Newborn Feeding Cues

As a new mom, you may be wondering how often and how much to feed your baby. Your baby will give you signs to let you know when they are hungry and full. It may take some time, but you'll learn exactly what these signs are. Your WIC breastfeeding staff can help you learn your baby's cues. Learn how to tell when your baby is hungry or full. Visit the WIC Breastfeeding Support site here.  

Breastfeeding In Public: The Law

A mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are authorized to be present.

Breastfeeding And Work: The Law

Employers are required to provide breastfeeding employees:

  • A reasonable amount of break time to express breastmilk for the child.
  • A private place, other than a bathroom, that may be used to express breastmilk.

More Helpful Resources

Break Time for Nursing Mothers breastfeeding-mother-456x259-1.jpg

National WIC or the CA WIC

La Leche League of Fresno

Mother’s Milk

Your Guide to Breastfeeding

A Guide to Breastfeeding

Fresno County Breastfeeding Resource Directory 2023

Fresno County Breastfeeding Coalition