August is National Breastfeeding Month!
Because of the many physical and mental health benefits of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers, Governor Tony Evers has proclaimed August 2020 as National Breastfeeding Month. Wisconsin supports the Surgeon General's "Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding," which emphasizes the importance of breastfeeding as a public health imperative and proven primary prevention strategy.
The Department of Health Services (DHS) joins our health and breastfeeding advocates in celebrating and promoting awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding for all mothers and babies, and supports community leaders addressing racial disparities in breastfeeding rates.
Celebrate Native Breastfeeding Week, August 9-16!
Governor Tony Evers has declared the week of August 9, 2020, as Native Breastfeeding Week.
August is National Breastfeeding Month, but DHS recognizes the need to highlight the unique barriers faced by Native women in healthcare, employment, and community settings, as well as structural and institutional racism, that result in racial disparities in breastfeeding rates. This week is dedicated to prioritizing and celebrating the experiences of Native women centered on encouraging breastfeeding as a way to combat systemic injustices that prevent all Wisconsin families from achieving their full breastfeeding potential.
Organizations doing recognizable work and hosting events around Native Breastfeeding Week include the Native Breastfeeding Coalition of Wisconsin.
Celebrate Black Breastfeeding Week, August 25-31!
Because disparities Governor Tony Evers has proclaimed the week of August 25, 2020, as Black Breastfeeding Week.
While August is National Breastfeeding Month, DHS understands that racial equity in breastfeeding must be prioritized in order to address systemic injustices preventing families from achieving their full breastfeeding potential and that a week that highlights the unique challenges facing Black mothers is essential to combating racial disparities in breastfeeding, as well as birth outcomes and maternal mortality rates.
Organizations doing recognizable work include the African American Breastfeeding Network, Harambee Village, and the African American Breastfeeding Alliance of Dane County.
Healthy People 2020 Breastfeeding Goals
Increase the proportion of infants who are breastfed. (MICH-21)
Increase the proportion of employers that have worksite lactation support programs. (MICH-22)
Reduce the proportion of breastfed newborns who receive formula supplementation within the first two days of life. (MICH-23)
Increase the proportion of live births that occur in facilities that provide recommended care for lactating mothers and their babies. (MICH-24)
Research has shown that there is no better food than breast milk for the baby's first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional, economic, and emotional benefits to the mother and baby. There are also significant benefits to the community, workplace and the environment.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has identified breastfeeding as the ideal method of feeding and nurturing infants, and has recognized breastfeeding as primary in achieving optimal infant and child health, growth, and development. The Academy recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.
Continued breastfeeding, with the gradual addition of appropriate complementary foods, is recommended for the remainder of the first year and for as long as mother and child desire. Long overlooked as an important factor in reducing health care costs, breastfeeding promotion has now become a national priority.
For more information about the importance of breastfeeding, use the resources link to find resources on breastfeeding education; breastfeeding-friendly childcare centers, breastfeeding mothers in childcare centers as well as links to other breastfeeding websites.