The Surgeon General has written a nation wide call to action to support breastfeeding! I have reprinted it below along with some links to follow. The Surgeon General also pointed out that community-based support groups, like La Leche League are very important in supporting breastfeeding mothers. Enjoy!
New Report Calls on all Pennsylvanians to Support Breastfeeding
State College, PA—Three out of four women in the United States provide their infants with the healthiest start in life by breastfeeding, and today Surgeon General Regina Benjamin called on the entire nation to support the removal of barriers to this important public health behavior. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding is an unprecedented document from the nation’s highest medical source, calling on health care providers, employers, insurers, policymakers, researchers, and the community at large to take 20 concrete action steps to support mothers in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals.
The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition applauds the Call to Action, which is based on the latest evidence about the health, psychosocial, economic, and environmental effects of breastfeeding. The document includes action steps and implementation strategies for six major sectors of society:
• Mothers and their Families: emphasizes the need to educate and inform families about the importance of breastfeeding, and provide the ongoing support mothers need to continue.
• Communities: calls upon the entire community to support breastfeeding mothers, including the provision of peer counseling support, promotion of breastfeeding through community-based organizations and traditional and new media venues, and the removal of commercial barriers to breastfeeding.
• Health Care: urges the health care system to adopt evidence-based practices as outlined in the Baby- Friendly Hospital Initiative, provide health professional education and training, ensure access to skilled, professional lactation care services, and increase availability of banked donor milk.
• Employment: calls for paid maternity leave and worksite and child care accommodations that support women when they return to work.
• Research and Surveillance: emphasizes the need for additional research, especially regarding the most effective ways to address disparities and measure the economic impact of breastfeeding, and calls for a national monitoring system.
• Public Health Infrastructure: calls for enhanced national leadership, including creation of a federal interagency work group, and increasing the capacity of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and affiliated state coalitions.
The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition (PABC) was established in 1992 by breastfeeding advocates from across the Commonwealth to facilitate community and statewide efforts to protect, support and promotes breastfeeding as the cultural norm. PABC is an affiliate of the United States Breastfeeding Committee. PABC members include many of the country’s experts working in each of the sectors in the Call to Action. Our membership has partnered on numerous projects in recent years with both public and private entities to implement changes in Pennsylvania’s Breastfeeding Landscape.
According to PABC Chair Cynthia Bartok, “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, in calling for society-wide breastfeeding support to remove the barriers that make it difficult for many women to succeed, provides new motivation and a greater sense of authority to forward our mission. PABC urges Pennsylvanians to be proactive in using these action steps to extend support so that mothers throughout our state get the care, help, and encouragement they deserve.”
For more information on the Call to Action, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov.
To receive updates and information from USBC, please consider signing on to support Breastfeeding: A Vision for the Future at www.usbreastfeeding.org/vision.
USBC publications, including an analysis of the barriers to exclusive breastfeeding, can be downloaded from www.usbreastfeeding.org/publications
For more information on the Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition visit our website at www.pabreastfeeding.org