August 2015
EWSE Webinar Series   
Please join us Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 12pm EST for Social Determinants of Breastfeeding: Policies, Trainings, and Programmatic Strategies. Registration is not required but space is limited so be sure to log in a few minutes early.  The webinar will be recorded and archived on our website within 48 hours. Missed our last webinar on Reproductive Life Planning? Click here to watch it.
Happy World Breastfeeding Week!  
World Breastfeeding Week 
World Breastfeeding Week
Check out this video from the Florida Department of Health in Polk County regarding the annual celebration of breastfeeding!

Click here to view an infographic that highlights the importance of breastfeeding and provides recommended actions to promote breastfeeding. 

The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses' position statement on breastfeeding highlights their support of breastfeeding. The report includes information about the physiologic, psychosocial, and public health benefits of breastfeeding. It also covers the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and the role of the nurse in supporting breastfeeding success. 


No matter what your workplace is like, there are ways to support pumping at work. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health (OWH) is committed to sharing low-cost, creative solutions for employers and nursing moms through the launch of Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions online resource.   
The mission of La Leche League is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education. Their website promotes breast-feeding as an important element in the health of moms and babies.
The World Health Organization, with the collaboration of UNICEF, created a 20-hour course for maternity staff on breastfeeding promotion and support in a baby-friendly hospital as part of their Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative. It can be used by facilities to strengthen the knowledge and skills of their staff towards successful implementation of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
The 2015 Breastfeeding Symposium will be held on August 7 in Greenville, NC. It will provide current info and evidence-based practice recommendations on optimal breastfeeding care and support. It will focus on the controversy of "safe sleep", the breastfeeding challenges of different communities, supporting breastfeeding in the child care setting, and strategies for women who face breastfeeding failure.  

 Breastfeeding Basics is the place for mothers to find answers to their breastfeeding questions. It offers practical solutions to many breastfeeding problems mothers may encounter.

Black Women Do Breastfeed is an online community that strives to make visible those Black women who do breastfeed, and provides many consumer resources and breastfeeding support. 

Journal of Human Lactation  
The Journal of Human Lactation, the official journal of the International Lactation Consultant Association, is a journal that publishes original research relating to human lactation and breastfeeding behavior, case reports relevant to the practicing lactation consultant and other health professionals who assist lactating mothers or their breastfeeding infants. This article featured in the journal presents bottle-feeding as a tool to reinforce breastfeeding. 

 Politics of Breastfeeding 

August is National Breastfeeding Month and a great time to engage families, businesses and communities in efforts to support breastfeeding mothers. Human milk is magical in many ways - specially crafted to meet the unique needs of babies as they grow and develop. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least the first year of life. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least the first two years of life and that whatever length of time moms are able to provide breastmilk for their babies is beneficial.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breast milk benefits babies in many ways, including increased resistance to infections, earlier development of their immune system, decreased risk of infections and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and less likelihood of childhood obesity. Moms can also benefit in several ways immediately postpartum with the uterus returning to normal size more quickly and reduced blood loss. Exclusive breastfeeding also delays return of fertility in most women. Easier weight loss and return to pre-pregnancy weight, and reduced risk of osteoporosis, breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers are also benefits of breastfeeding for mothers.
Media and Breastfeeding
Past health campaigns have demonstrated media's impact of sharing positive imagesof breastfeeding by improving awareness, increasing initiation rates, and producing positive attitudes toward
  breastfeeding. However, scholarly studies of media coverage suggest that media have also contributed to lower breastfeeding rates by normalizing bottle feeding and perpetuating the difficulty of breastfeeding. Even more, some media messages have framed breastfeeding as harmful, even dangerous, to infants.
Breastfeeding trends in magazines and parenting manuals have depicted breastfeeding as generally positive, but difficult.

Current Breastfeeding Status in the U.S.
Breastfeeding rates in the United States continue to climb with 79.2 % of moms initiating breastfeeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to that CDC report card, there are also national improvements in hospital maternity care practices that support breastfeeding. However, the indicators show that there is room for improvement to ensure moms are getting the quality care that can help them reach their breastfeeding goals. One important consideration for moms is to learn about the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and locate a baby friendly hospital or birth center that they know will support them in breastfeeding from birth. 
Racial disparities in Breastfeeding 
According to another CDC report, breastfeeding rates improved nationwide from 2000-2008, and some of the greatest improvement was among black women. However, only about 59% of black mothers breastfed in 2008, compared to 80% of Hispanic mothers and about 75% of white mothers. For 2008 rates of breastfeeding at a baby's first birthday, the number was about 23% overall but only 12.5% for black mothers. While there are many factors that contribute to a woman's ability to breastfeed, experiences during childbirth hospitalization play a critical role for establishing breastfeeding. In the CDC MMWR report, Racial Disparities in Access to Maternity Care Practices That Support Breastfeeding, found that the implementation of maternity care practices supportive of breastfeeding varied based on the racial composition of the area; meaning, women living in areas with higher percentages of blacks might have less access to these services. All facilities, regardless of the racial/ethnic  composition of the populations they serve, can support the breastfeeding decisions of their patients by implementing evidence-based policies and practices shown to be critical for establishing breastfeeding, so that more infants are able to reap the numerous health benefits of breastfeeding.
Despite the statistics that show a despairing picture of breastfeeding among black mothers in the U.S., there are many online support groups, black breastfeeding campaigns, and community and faith-based organizations, programs, and professionals who have been doing and continue to do great work in promoting and initiating breastfeeding in communities of color across the nation.  
Breastfeeding Professional Groups, Resources, and Initiatives  


The Inf ant Sleep Information Source
contains resources pertaining to nighttime breastfeeding and infant sleep. Their info sheets can help incorporate realistic sleep guidance into breastfeeding support, advocacy, and policy.

Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA) is a non-profit organization, with a mission to reduce racial inequities in breastfeeding support for African Americans by building foundational networks of support, and strengthening systems to overcome historical, societal and social barriers to breastfeeding success. Visit their website to access consumer and professional resources. 
HealthConnect One is the national leader in  advancing respectful, community-based, peer-to-peer support for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early parenting. Their vision is to see every baby, mother, and family thrive in a healthy community by providing training and technical assistance to front-line community organizations and lay workers.

The International Breastfeeding and Feminism Conference is the only breastfeeding conference that focuses on the sociocultural, economic, health and political impacts on, and of, women's infant feeding decisions. The BFIC brings together top researchers with on-the-ground practitioners in policy, programs, advocacy, and communication, and produces publications and professional resources.

Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) is a member network that was founded to address breastfeeding disparities among people of color nationwide through culturally competent training, education, advocacy, and support.

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website provides useful documents and resources for international board certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs) and other health care providers. It provides breastfeeding basics, steps to become an IBCLC, and potential career paths and workplaces for an IBCLC. 
The International Lactation Consultant Association is a non-governmental organization that connects a network of lactation professionals. Their vision is world health transformed through breastfeeding and lactation care. Their website provides great resources for the IBCLC profession interns of professional development, advocacy, and recent research articles. 

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