Breastfeeding

August is National Breastfeeding Month

Aug 03, 2020 | Harumi Reis-Reilly

Breastfeeding is a powerful public health strategy with well-established short-term and long-term health advantages for babies and breastfeeding parents. These benefits are significantly greater for families of color who are disproportionately affected by adverse health outcomes such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and chronic diseases that breastfeeding may significantly reduce.

Leading health organizations recommends breastfeeding as the optimal, normative source of infant feeding exclusively for the first baby’s six months and with complementary feeding for at least 1-2 years of age. However, in United States, 4 out of 5 moms start breastfeeding, but less than half are still at 6 months.

August is National Breastfeeding Month and this week is World Breastfeeding Week! This year’s theme highlights the links between breastfeeding and planetary health. Breastfeeding is a prime example of the deep connections between human health and nature’s ecosystems, and a critical component of sustainable food systems.

Each week of August is dedicated to a special theme. Click on each to learn more about it:

NACCHO has been actively promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding programs in communities for nearly a decade. Our work improves availability of continuous access to skilled lactation support where families live, work, play (give birth and raise children!). This year, the NACCHO Breastfeeding Team has special resources to share with our members:

  • An upcoming live webinar on factors that influence exclusive breastfeeding, conducted by a researcher from Emory University that CDC and NACCHO have been supporting through the past year
  • A new report emphasizing a critical role on breastfeeding support of a key local health department partner: community health centers
  • A conference session providing no-cost continuing education credits, co-presented with ASTHO, entitled Advancing Health Equity in Breastfeeding Through Transformative State and Local Policy, Systems, and Environmental Changes

See details below:

Exclusive Breastfeeding Factors Webinar

In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, NACCHO is hosting the Unpacking Barriers and Facilitators to Exclusively Breastfeeding at Hospital Discharge webinar on August 12 at 1:00 PM ET.

Exclusive breastfeeding in the first few days after birth is critical for establishing breastfeeding. However, in the United States, 16.9% of infants are supplemented with formula within the first two days of life for different reasons, including many that are not medically necessary.

This webinar focuses on the results from a qualitative study conducted at Grady Memorial Hospital (GMH) in Atlanta, GA, which serves a high proportion of racial/ethnic minorities and low-income individuals, aimed to understand factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding at hospital discharge. This study included insight from parents, clinicians, community organizations’ staff, and administrators. Additionally, this webinar will provide an overview of common reasons for early formula supplementation based on mPINC survey results and provide short-term and potential long-term solutions to improve health care system breastfeeding support and continuity of care to improve exclusive breastfeeding.

Register Here

NACCHO’s Community Health Centers and Breastfeeding Report

This report outlines the critical role of Community Health Centers (CHCs) in promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding in their communities. It includes a compilation of NACCHO’s previous CHC grantees tools and stories of successful implementations of organizational policies, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes to establish internal breastfeeding support continuity of care. The report also includes links to available resources and toolkits to create breastfeeding-friendly environments within outpatient settings. Click here to view the report.

U.S. Breastfeeding Committee: National Breastfeeding Conference- Transforming Systems Through Law & Policy

NBCC Reimagined is a robust series of on-demand sessions released each Monday during National Breastfeeding Month (and beyond!). The presentations are offered on-demand and free of charge. This week’s program includes: Advancing Health Equity in Breastfeeding Through Transformative State and Local Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change.


About Harumi Reis-Reilly

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