DPH Supports Breastfeeding because Breastfeeding Supports Health
Through a five-year CDC 1305 grant (SHAPe) the Department is addressing three key areas to improve the breastfeeding landscape in Connecticut.
According to the CDC, a major factor in breastfeeding success is having supportive hospital maternity care practices. Along with the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition (CBC), and its Ten Steps Collaborative, the Department has directed its CDC 1305 grant resources to provide training and support to hospital staff on "The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding," through an interactive train-the-trainer workshop, Connecticut Birth and Beyond in May of 2014. In 2015, the Department, CBC and Southern Connecticut State University collaborated on a series of focus groups to learn about how new parents and maternity nurses felt about the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and messages regarding evidenced based maternity care. Based on the focus group findings, a consumer awareness campaign was developed in 2016, with the tagline, Breastfeeding: It’s Worth It! to allow moms to share their own success stories around the topics of skin-to-skin contact with baby after birth, the importance of rooming-in (keeping your baby in your room in the hospital) and the value of community support. The interactive webpage will allow moms and dads to not only share their own experiences, but watch short videos of Connecticut parents talking about their breastfeeding journey. More content on the website is planned for 2017.
See the Resources section below for a sample Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Toolkit developed by the UNCAS and Ledge Light Health Districts to provide support in their communities for working mothers interested in breastfeeding. Contact State Breastfeeding Co-Coordinator Marilyn Lonczak at Marilyn.Lonczak@ct.gov if you are interested in adapting this toolkit for your community
For more information about Connecticut’s Breastfeeding laws; the Federal laws or how your worksite can apply to be recognized as Breastfeeding Friendly; go to www.breastfeedingct.org and click on the Employment and Laws on the main menu at the top of the page.
•Improves brain and nervous system development
•Promotes special warm bonding and emotional relationship with mom
•Reduces risk of childhood diabetes and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
•Increases bone density
•Reduces risk of heart disease later in life
•Most complete and optimal mix of nutrients and antibodies
•Keeps pace with infant’s growth and changing nutritional needs
•Breastmilk is free, thus reducing or eliminating the cost of formula
•Breastfed babies are sick less, thus reducing healthcare costs to family and requiring less time off from work
•Promotes special emotional relationship and bonding with baby
•Reduces risk of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers and anemia
•Helps return mom’s body to it’s pre-pregnancy state faster