Supporting a family’s choice to breastfeed
Working in partnership with area hospitals and clinics, Living Healthy in Washington County helps health care providers share the benefits of breastfeeding with more mothers, infants, families, and communities.
Breastfeeding helps mothers and infants alike, keeping both healthier, reducing health care costs, and giving newborns a better chance to thrive throughout childhood. Studies show that breastfed children have fewer and less serious illnesses, reduced risk of obesity, and that their total medical care costs are lower than for never-breastfed infants. Hospitals and clinics provide a unique and critical link for breastfeeding mothers. Their support – and a supportive environment from family, friends, employers, and the community – encourages successful breastfeeding and strong, healthy infants.
- In addition to the health advantages of breastfeeding for mothers and their children, there are economic benefits associated with breastfeeding that can be realized by families, employers, private and government insurers, and the nation as a whole.*
- If 90 percent of U.S. families followed guidelines to breastfeed exclusively for six months, the United States would save $13 billion annually from reduced direct medical, indirect costs and the cost of premature death.*
- In Minnesota, 73 percent of women initiate breastfeeding.*
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2011 (Link)
- Bartick M, Reinhold A. The burden of suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: a pediatric cost analysis.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Breastfeeding Report Card, United States 2013”
Create lasting partnerships with local hospitals and clinics, medical professionals, and the community, in order to promote, support and protect breastfeeding as the preferred way to feed babies during the first year of life.
The Washington County Breastfeeding Coalition (BFC) was formed to facilitate hospital practices around changes in breastfeeding through networking, resource sharing, and support.
The BFC’s mission is to promote, support and protect breastfeeding through education, outreach, and collaboration within our community. The BFC envisions a community where breastfeeding is the norm and where families are supported and empowered to achieve their breastfeeding goals.
To contact the Breastfeeding Coalition: 651.430.6655 or PHE@co.washington.mn.us