Milwaukee County Breastfeeding Coalition
Breast milk is widely acknowledged to be the most complete form of nutrition for infants and the resulting benefits for infants’ health, growth, immunity, and development are well documented (Healthy People, 2010). The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes that “breastfeeding ensures the best possible health as well as the best developmental and psychosocial outcomes for the infant” (Mitra et al., 2003). However, studies indicate that breastfeeding rates are significantly lower for African American, low-income, younger and less-educated women. According to the Wisconsin WIC Program (which serves low-income and primarily African American families), 9 of the 13 WIC clinics in Milwaukee are below the statewide average of 62% for incidence of breastfeeding, ranging from 41.4% to 62.7%. This rate is far below the Healthy Wisconsin 2010 Plan goal of 80% (Healthy People, 2010). In addition, duration rates for breastfeeding infants at 6 and 12 months are well below the health plan goal of 50% for six months and 25% for 12 months (Healthy People, 2010).
Improve the health and nutrition of infants in Milwaukee County by increasing breastfeeding rates, including initiation, duration, and exclusivity, and to change social norms regarding the importance of breastfeeding. Strategies include:
January 2010 – December 2010
Wisconsin Partnership Program
Healthy People 2010. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.healthypeople.gov/.
Mitra, A.K., Khoury, A.J., Carothers, C., Foretich, C. The Loving Support Breastfeeding Campaign: Awareness and Practices of Health Care Providers in Mississippi. JOGNN Clinical Research, 2003, vol. 32;6, 753-760.