Session C: Breastfeeding Friendly Hospitals and Communities

Room 101

This session will look at breastfeeding outcomes from different aspects. In the first part of the session Mistel de Varona will share how breastfeeding impacts maternal and infant health, barriers to breastfeeding and how community support can help families achieve their breastfeeding goals. The CDC, AAP and many other maternal/infant and public health organizations state breastfeeding is a key strategy to improve public health. Unfortunately, Michigan is currently far from meeting the Healthy People 2020 goals for initiation, duration and exclusivity rates. One health equity effort highlight of community support is SHINE (Sisters Helping Improve Nursing Experiences), a breastfeeding club for African-American families. Other community support efforts and strategies to bring back to your community will be shared. Tameka White will speak briefly about SHINE.

In the second part of the session, Dr. Schreck will discuss the relationship with the birth experience, and how there are several key supportive maternity care practices that improve breastfeeding outcomes. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Breastfeeding specifically calls for expanded breastfeeding education and support to address gaps and disparities in breastfeeding outcomes and the Baby-Friendly framework answers this call. All Baby-Friendly practices are evidence-based, safe, and promote public health for all populations served, which carries great significance for traditionally marginalized groups. Since its inception in 1991, Baby-Friendly hospitals have reduced racial disparities while witnessing a subsequent rise in U.S. breastfeeding rates. Baby-Friendly practices have been shown to increase breastfeeding rates regardless of demographic and socioeconomic factors that are traditionally linked with low breastfeeding rates. We will examine the role of the Baby-Friendly Hospital as a trusted community partner.