Breastfeeding / Practice​


Obesity Advocacy Glossary


Breastfeeding Friendly Environments

Action steps to create breastfeeding friendly environments include:

  1. Provide lactation room and adequate breaks for nursing mothers.
    Working outside the home is related to a shorter duration of breastfeeding. Barriers identified in the workplace include a lack of flexibility for milk expression in the work schedule, lack of accommodations to pump or store breastmilk, and concerns about support from employers and colleagues. Providing nursing mothers (both employees and mothers of your patients) a breastfeeding-friendly environment can help to remove these barriers.

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  2. Provide onsite lactation support and consultation and/or know of lactation support and resources in your community.

    As the breastfeeding rates in the US increase, there is now, more than ever, a need for health professionals who are able to care for and support breastfeeding families in their practice. The support your office provides can help to prolong breastfeeding duration.

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  3. Advocate for baby friendly hospitals and/or the incorporation of the UNICEF/WHO ten steps to successful breastfeeding.

    Many hospitals have practices that are detrimental to breastfeeding including the routine use of formula supplementation and free samples, pacifier use, and the separation of mother and infant. Fortunately, hospitals that have implemented comprehensive policies and practices that support exclusive breastfeeding, and offer an optimal level of care for lactation may become a certified Baby-Friendly Hospital.  Research has shown that mothers who gave birth in a Baby-Friendly Hospital had increased rates of initiating breastfeeding and exclusively breast fed their babies for a longer time. 


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