Promoting Breastfeeding

By breastfeeding, mothers give their children the best possible chance to live a long, healthy life. Research proves that children who are breastfed are sick less frequently and tend to have a healthier weight throughout life. Breastfeeding, though, is a learned skill that's often difficult for busy moms to balance on-the-go. However, with support, advice and training, it can be done in any situation.

If your organization is interested in helping make breastfeeding the norm in suburban Cook County, here are some resources to help you start:

  1. Ensuring hospitals are required to report on exclusive breastfeeding rates.

    • About: Right now, hospitals don’t have to report how many women are breastfeeding their child(ren) exclusively upon discharge. By pushing for this reporting, we can show how much each hospital encourages breastfeeding and give women the information they need to choose a hospital that supports them in breastfeeding.
    • Resources to help you create this in your community:
      HealthConnect One – As a key advocate for maternal and child health issues, HC One is a good hub to help you connect with existing networks.
  2. Urging hospitals to earn the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘Baby Friendly Designation’.

    • About: The Baby Friendly Designation is a set of criteria set by the WHO that comprise the ‘gold standard’ for maternal/child care. Hospitals can earn this designation by reaching eight goals.
    • Resources to help you create this in your community:
      Baby friendly USA – The leaders of the movement to implement the WHO’s 10 steps to a baby friendly hospital and an excellent place to get a sense of where to start with hospitals, as well as what’s involved in becoming baby friendly.
  3. Ensuring hospitals create referral systems for women who need breastfeeding support.

    • About:
      Breastfeeding is hard work. By pushing hospitals to create support networks for breastfeeding moms, we can help women breastfeed longer.
    • Resources to help you create this in your community:
      Text for Baby – A network of moms supporting each other as they breastfeed. This is a good place to refer women to.

Make the connections and get the support to make this vision a reality – join our Alliance!