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Every Step of the Way Through the First 1,000 Days: The Launch of the Continuity of Care in Breastfeeding Support Blueprint

Aug 02, 2021 | Harumi Reis-Reilly, Erika Ennis

August is National Breastfeeding Month! This year’s theme, “Every Step of the Way,” focuses on the importance of supporting families at every step along the infant feeding journey with warm and coordinated hand-offs and transitions. Continuity of Care in chest/breastfeeding ensures that breastfeeding support services are continuous, accessible, and coordinated, and that community spaces are consistently supportive of breastfeeding families.

This is the perfect atmosphere for the launch of Continuity of Care in Breastfeeding Support: A Blueprint for Communities. This resource has been under development for the past two years, by NACCHO and the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) with funding the from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (CDC-DNPAO). Over 100 participants across the United States collectively contributed thoughts, resources, and experiences to the Blueprint over the past two years. On August 24 at 1:00 PM EDT, join us for a webinar that will kick off the 8-part Continuity of Care in Breastfeeding webinar series.

During the last decade, overall breastfeeding rates have increased in the United States, however, there are persistent disparities in breastfeeding duration rates by race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Suboptimal breastfeeding can lead to negative short- and long-term health outcomes for infants and lactating parents, such as increased incidence of infection, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. One of the drivers of suboptimal infant feeding and early breastfeeding discontinuation is gaps in continuity of care (CoC) in lactation support within communities.

CoC in breastfeeding support is achieved by consistent, collaborative, and seamless delivery of high-quality services for families throughout the first 1,000 days—from pregnancy through the child’s second birthday. In addition to care coordination, CoC in breastfeeding support also refers to the establishment of proactive, supportive environments where families live, work, play, and raise children through the implementation of organizational policies, systems, and environment (PSE) solutions.

The soon-to-be launched Blueprint, developed with a public health lens, aims to increase local capacity to implement community-driven approaches to support chest/breastfeeding, centered on the needs of populations disproportionately impacted by structural barriers that lead to low rates of breastfeeding. The Blueprint is intended for any local-level organization or individual that interacts with pregnant and postpartum families, to ensure transitions of care that are coordinated and environments that are fully supportive of families throughout their infant feeding journey.

During the launch, there will also be an announcement for NACCHO’s new Request for Applications (RFA) for the Blueprint Implementation grant project.

Continuing education credits for lactation support providers (1.0 L-CERP) and dietitians/nutritionists (1.0 CPEU) are available. CDC CE credits are pending approval.

Other important Breastfeeding Month resources:

Each week of the month brings awareness to different groups and issues.


About Harumi Reis-Reilly

More posts by Harumi Reis-Reilly

About Erika Ennis

Senior Program Assistant

More posts by Erika Ennis

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