20 Actions in 20 Days: Support for breastfeeding mothers

20 Actions in 20 Days

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has called on the entire nation to take 20 concrete action steps from the January 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding to support the removal of barriers to breastfeeding. The United States Breastfeeding Committee is hosting a “20 Actions in 20 Days” campaign to highlight these action steps and implementation strategies.

Action 1: Support Mothers — Give mothers the support they need to breastfeed their babies.

Support for mothers is key to improving breastfeeding initiation and duration rates. Even though breastfeeding improves health outcomes, protects against obesity and reduces healthcare costs across the lifespan, only 62 percent of our infants in Northeast Florida are ever breastfed, and less than 16 percent breastfeed for 12 weeks or more.

Locally, the Healthy Start program offers breastfeeding support and education to mothers in the program. In 2011-2012,  3,011 mothers in Northeast Florida received these services from Healthy Start providers.

The Northeast Florida Breastfeeding Collaborative was launched in 2009 to promote and support improved policies and practices in delivering hospitals in the region. Baby-Friendly Hospital designation for all maternity facilities was a key recommendation for improving infant health included in the 2008 JCCI Infant Mortality Study.

Since the inception of the collaborative, the first hospital in Northeast Florida received a Baby Friendly Hospital designation — Naval Hospital Jacksonville. Several hospitals in the region

We regularly update our breastfeeding page with information about local and national resources for breastfeeding moms.

The Coalition is also working with initiatives like the Florida Communities Putting Prevention to Work group and local infant mortality task forces to get local businesses information about how to support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.

Read more about Action 1 at the U.S.  Breastfeeding Committe’s website.