Breastfeeding Awareness: Resources and Research

August is all about breastfeeding awareness. Each year, the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee declares it National Breastfeeding Month (#NBM16). The first week (August 1-7) is World Breastfeeding Week and August 25-31 is Black Breastfeeding Week. Get the latest from Twitter using #BreastfeedingWeek and show your support by submitting the WBW Event Pledge Form.

Every day throughout the year, our Family Strengthening Network’s home visiting programs help new moms breastfeed their babies. Learn more about the Family Strengthening Network and see a list of the 14 hospitals that participate in Welcome Baby, which offers free home visiting services to women who deliver there. (One of those hospitals — Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills — sent us this photo of the nice display table they set up to promote World Breastfeeding Week.)


Outreach Specialist Vanessa Madrigal stands by the World Breastfeeding Week awareness table, set up by the Welcome Baby program at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Calif.


This year, World Breastfeeding Week focuses on breastfeeding as “Key to Sustainable Development.” The UNICEF & WHO statement sums it up nicely:

There is a reason why virtually every country around the world observes World Breastfeeding Week every year: Breastfeeding is one of the most effective — and cost-effective — ways to save and improve the lives of children everywhere, yielding lifelong health benefits for infants and their mothers.

And increasingly, it is clear that breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a country’s development. In fact, supporting breastfeeding is one of the smartest investments countries can make in the well-being of their citizens — and thus, in their own long-term strength. In low-, middle- and high-income countries alike, the benefits for individuals, families and societies include ending preventable child deaths, improving maternal and child health, boosting educational attainment, and increasing productivity.

These are some of the conclusions of the recent series on breastfeeding in The Lancet, which argues that improving breastfeeding practices makes the world healthier, smarter, and more equal.

See the complete UNICEF & WHO statement and the USDA proclamation.

The Latest Research … and a Research-Based Infographic
Tips and Guides to Help Moms Breastfeed

Home visitors and other public health professionals: Be sure to read The CDC Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies, which outlines strategies to support breastfeeding mothers and provides links to practical resources. Here are some resources you can give to the moms you work with:

Resources for Breastfeeding Support in the Workplace

Download LA Best Babies Network’s “Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Policies” booklet in English or Spanish. Also see these helpful breastfeeding-rights resources:

Breastfeeding Support at Hospitals and Schools in California

How are hospitals doing with respect to helping new moms breastfeed? The California Department of Public Health recently released 2015 breastfeeding initiation rates for local hospitals, counties, and the state:

How about schools? The ACLU of Southern California, BreastfeedLA, and the California Women’s Law Center recently released ABC’s of Breastfeeding in Los Angeles County School Districts, a report on the state of lactation accommodation policies in Los Angeles County school districts.

Do you have any resources to suggest? Post a comment below!

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