Catch us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as we provide stories, data, helpful tips and debunk myths about breastfeeding. We’ll also highlight a few local moms and dads who will share from their personal experiences. All activities are free and open to the public.
Breastfeeding has a number of health benefits for you and your child. Not only does breastfeeding help strengthen bonding, but breastmilk also offers your baby with the unique balance of nutrients their body needs for healthy development.
Studies have shown that exclusive breastfeeding helps to support baby’s healthy growth, lowers their risk of obesity and other health problems, and helps strengthen baby’s immune system. Most importantly, breastfeeding helps to reduce baby’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS.) You can reap the benefits of breastfeeding too, with lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, and certain types of breast and ovarian cancers.
HEALTHY START CAMPAIGNS
According to the World Health Organization, “Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. Review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants.”
Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant. The Healthy People 2020 target for the proportion of babies who are ever breastfed is 81.9 percent; however, according to the Centers for Disease Control “Black infants consistently had the lowest rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration across all study years. Black mothers may need more, targeted support to start and continue breastfeeding.”
In Allegheny County in 2012, the health department reported about 55 percent of new black mothers initiated breastfeeding, while 74 percent of their white counterparts did. Additionally, in Allegheny County, women of color who are more likely to deliver low birthweight and preterm babies, and are three times more likely than white women to have their baby succumb to a preventable death within the first year of life. Furthermore, in-hospital lactation supports are inadequate. There is a lot of work to do!
The Healthy Start Center for Urban Breastfeeding will be a comprehensive breastfeeding initiative that will span the domains of research, advocacy, community engagement and education, and direct service in order to:
- Develop a local “agenda” for with breastfeeding education and support for African American women in Allegheny County
- Increase the number of African American women who initiate breastfeeding, and who are breastfeeding at six months
- Increase access to the and number of women of color in Allegheny County trained as peer counselors, Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC) and Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC)
- Support health promoting behaviors, such as early prenatal care, health screenings, chronic disease management, etc.
AUGUST 2018 GRAND OPENING SCHEDULE