US breastfeeding rates are low, due to many factors which include lack of support for breastfeeding women, poor maternity leave policies, industry marketing tactics, clinician lack of knowledge, poor hospital policy, and lack of peer support. The Breastfeeding Center works with other advocates to increase the US breastfeeding rates.
CHAMPS: Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices
The Breastfeeding Center was recently awarded a three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for the CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices) project. CHAMPS is a breastfeeding-focused initiative geared toward improving maternal and child health outcomes and reducing inequities in breastfeeding through the promotion of Baby-Friendly practices in 25 selected hospitals in the south.
Key Aspects of CHAMPS
Ban the Bags
Studies have shown that formula sales campaigns undermine mothers who choose to breastfeed and coax medical professionals to promote expensive brand-name formulas. “Ban the Bags” is a national campaign that works to stop formula companies from marketing in maternity hospitals. This campaign aims to educate consumers on the issue and encourage health care professionals and families to join this effort. The website offers a Tool Kit, which includes educational materials developed by the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition and Ban the Bags, as well as letters of support from regional and national organizations. For more information please visit banthebags.org.
Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The BFHI recognizes birthing facilities who implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. In addition, the BFHI helps hospitals equip all mothers with the information, confidence, and skills required to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely. For more information, please click here.
American Academy of Pediatrics article on Breastfeeding:
United States Breastfeeding Committee