Through the “Reducing Disparities in Breastfeeding through Peer and Professional lactation Support” (Breastfeeding) project, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) supports community-level implementations of peer and professional breastfeeding support programs, practices, and services designed to increase breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity among African American and underserved women.
In year three of the Breastfeeding Project, NACCHO aims to increase the capacity of LHDs and community based organizations (CBOs) to implement evidence-based and innovative practices and policy, system, and environmental (PSE) changes to promote and support breastfeeding in communities that are disproportionately burdened by socioeconomic barriers that limit women’s capacity to choose and continue breastfeeding at levels recommended by leading health agencies.
The Breastfeeding Project goals are to:
- Goal 1: Increase capacity of local agencies to promote and support breastfeeding in African American and underserved communities through training and TA (T/TA) focused on public health breastfeeding.
- Goal 2: Increase local, state and national awareness of effective breastfeeding processes, as well as success and challenges of implementing and expanding access to community-based breastfeeding support services by disseminating project results
- Goal 3: Increase national partnerships to address and expand access to peer and professional support, enhance workplace breastfeeding practices, and support effective maternity care practices.
Funding from the CDC Division of Nutrition Physical Activity and Obesity allowed NACCHO to administer the Reducing Disparities in Breastfeeding through Peer and Professional Support (Breastfeeding) Project. Between January 2015 and June 2016, NACCHO awarded $2.9M to support 72 demonstration projects among 69 local health departments (LHDs) and community level organizations to implement evidence-based and innovative breastfeeding support projects across 32 states and territories. This represents the largest ever nationally coordinated implementation of community-level breastfeeding support initiatives. Peer and professional lactation support services were provided to predominately low-income and minority women through 92,832 one-on-one encounters and 3,332 support group meetings. Beyond direct service delivery, grantees sought to remove structural barriers to accessing quality lactation care within their communities by instituting policy, system and environmental shifts to deepen organizational capacity to support underserved families and by leveraging funds and partnerships to extend services beyond traditional target groups. Grantees shared lessons learned through online and face-to-face peer sharing exchanges, and the Breastfeeding Project Team continues to disseminate project results through the NACCHO Public Health Breastfeeding Webinar Series.
NACCHO hosted the Public Health Breastfeeding Webinar Series, developed capacity building materials, and disseminated project results to inform future breastfeeding initiatives, and sustain public health partnerships critical to building community support for breastfeeding.
PH Webinar series:
The goal of this training series is to increase breastfeeding program implementation capacity which will result in the development of strong, sustainable and effective local-level programs. This series of five 90-minute webinar sessions addresses the needs identified by local health departments and community-based organizations that were grantees of the Reducing Breastfeeding Disparities through Peer and Professional Support grant. The Public Health Breastfeeding Webinar Series, funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, promotes promising practices and share lessons learned from the Reducing Breastfeeding Disparities through Peer and Professional Support Project (Breastfeeding Project). With a focus on identifying public health solutions and promoting equity in breastfeeding for underserved communities, themes covered throughout the series will include: creating continuity of care in the community, engaging and retaining hard to reach groups, building sustainable practices leveraging of funds and partnerships, and building sustainability through policy, systems and environmental changes.
Continuing Education credits available without a cost, for RNs, MDs, CHES, CPHs, IBCLCs, CLCs and other lactation providers:
NACCHO provides affordable and accessible professional development training for maternal child health providers and lactation support providers to support building organization and staff capacity of front-line services providers working in local communities, who may not have otherwise opportunities of high-quality training free of charge. NACCHO Breastfeeding Team believes in lactation equity for all providers regardless of ability to pay, thus is being part of the resolution to advance breastfeeding support in the communities.
Click here for instructions to obtain CEs from the CDC.
NACCHO identified resources and is developing quarterly briefs—electronic or print publications—to support LHDs and CBOs in overcoming infrastructure challenges limiting their capacity to successfully implement peer and professional lactation support projects. In providing over 1,300 hours of technical assistance (TA) to grantees through a combination of grantee requested support, mandated quarterly check-in calls, and site visits, NACCHO identified a set of overarching infrastructure challenges faced by organizations in applying for funding, implementing projects, and managing sustainability.
Before the Public Health Breastfeeding Webinar Series, we released several other interesting webinars.
The Breastfeeding Project staff has compiled a list of resources, including training and education, websites, toolkits, lactation support organizations, hotlines, journals and publications, educational materials, webinars, national and international organizations, federal agencies and where to go to learn about becoming a breastfeeding-friendly organization
Sharing the processes, successes, challenges and lessons learned from 72 implementations of peer and professional breastfeeding support projects can assist other communities’ efforts to undertake similar approaches to increase breastfeeding rates among African American and underserved populations. Findings will be shared through electronic media; webinars or webcasts; conference presentations and posters; and print publications.
Read posts about breastfeeding and related topics
Learn more about NACCHO's Breastfeeding Project through articles written by project staff and grantees.
This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cooperative Agreement #5U38OT000172-02. NACCHO is grateful for this support. The views expressed within do not necessarily represent those of the sponsor.
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