The W.K. Kellogg Foundation salutes breastfeeding mothers and everyone who supports them during August, a full month dedicated to the first food movement.
Focus on the workplace
We know that breastfeeding success requires supportive environments – at home, in hospitals, at work and in communities. With more and more women with young children who work in jobs outside the home, the workplace has become a critical factor in affecting breastfeeding rates. While initiation rates have climbed across all groups of women, our challenge now is helping mothers sustain breastfeeding through the child’s first six months of life.
Childbirth Connection’s recently released survey, Listening to Mothers III, showed 49 percent of moms said employment affected their decisions on how to feed their new babies, including whether or when to breastfeed, use formula or pump. According to a nationwide poll conducted for WKKF in February, 66 percent of Americans say it would be very helpful for workplaces to support breastfeeding mothers.
In light of this, we encourage everyone to give special consideration to the workplace during National Breastfeeding Month.
National Breastfeeding Month offers a wealth of opportunities to come together in support of breastfeeding. Organizations sponsoring activities, events and campaigns in August include: The Big Latch On, MomsRising,ROSE (Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere), and the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC).
USBC is addressing one topic area each week: peer counseling, paid family leave, maternity care practices and employer support. Check out their calendar for National Breastfeeding Month here.
A number of organizations are sponsoring World Breastfeeding Week, August 1–7. This year’s theme, “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers,” highlights the role of breastfeeding peer counselors.
The Kellogg Foundation continues to be a strong advocate for improving breastfeeding rates in our country as it contributes to the foundation’s overall mission of creating opportunities for vulnerable children to thrive. Helping support mothers to breastfeed their babies not only benefits a child’s development, but also benefits mothers’ health.
National Breastfeeding Month is a great time to learn more about the importance of breastfeeding to improving the lives of all children and to lend your support.