In 2011 the United States Surgeon General announced a National Call to Action for Breastfeeding with 21 strategies aimed to improve breastfeeding outcomes in the US. In response to the call to action the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition has committed many of the organization’s efforts to ADDRESS each strategy in the her executive summary.
National Breastfeeding Month Proclamation
On August 6, 2011, USBC officially declared that August is National Breastfeeding Month, at a
Community Baby Shower event hosted by Howard University Hospital and the DC Breastfeeding
Coalition. In addition to the National Breastfeeding Month proclamation, the day’s events included
participation in the Big Latch On and a visit from the Latch On America cross-country bus tour. The text
of the Proclamation is below.
Whereas, the mission of the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is to improve the
Nation’s health by working collaboratively to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding; and
Whereas, USBC envisions breastfeeding as the norm for infant and young child feeding throughout
the United States; and
Whereas, breast milk is the preferred and most appropriate source of nutrition for infants, adapting
over time to meet the changing needs of the growing infant; and
Whereas breastfeeding is a proven primary prevention strategy, protecting both infants and mothers
from a host of chronic and acute diseases and conditions and building a foundation for life-long
health and wellness; and
Whereas the act of breastfeeding builds a strong emotional connection between the mother and
infant, a bond which lasts a lifetime; and
Whereas, breastfeeding provides a safe, reliable, and renewable food source, especially critical
during natural disaster and emergency situations; and
Whereas, employers that provide workplace lactation support experience an impressive return on
investment, including lower health care costs, absenteeism, and turnover rates, and improved
morale, job satisfaction, and productivity; and
Whereas, all major medical authorities recommend that mothers breastfeed exclusively for six
months and continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of a child’s life, yet breastfeeding rates
continue to fall short of the Nation’s Healthy People objectives; and
Whereas, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has issued The Surgeon General’s Call to Action
to Support Breastfeeding, calling on health care providers, employers, insurers, policymakers,
researchers, and the community at large to support mothers in reaching their personal breastfeeding
Therefore, on this 6th day of August, 2011, the United States Breastfeeding Committee does hereby
proclaim August as National Breastfeeding Month, in furtherance of USBC’s role to advance
breastfeeding on our Nation’s agenda through collaboration, leadership, and advocacy, so that all
U.S. families will have the opportunity to breastfeed.
Robin W. Stanton, MA, RD, LD
Chair, United States Breastfeeding Committee
Statement from the FBC in support of Black Mothers and Families Following the Murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbrey and Breonna Taylor.
We are living in troubled times. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbrey and Breonna Taylor as a result of police brutality have shaken the world. An eruption of protests and outcries demanding for justice and police reform have been the highlights of major news outlets. George Floyd calling for “mama” echoed around the world. “Mama” is the powerful, milk-triggering pronoun every mother can relate to. We send our regards to black communities during this time.
Racism is a Public Health Issue-The protests, exacerbated now by the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the health disparities affecting black, indigenous and people of color. All children deserve a full, healthy life. The FBC is committed to ensuring all babies, unless medically contraindicated receive the vital first food-breastmilk. Breast milk provides babies with immune support, a unique bond only a mother can give, and reducing infant mortality and risks of infections. Black babies are 12% less likely to exclusively breastfeed than whites. We are committed to dismantling structural racism, and tackling systematic disparities in health care, birth work, and breastfeeding support to black, indigenous and mothers of color in Florida. We do not accept silence and indifference to these matters. Change will occur with strategic action.
The Florida Breastfeeding Coalition stands with black mothers who experience the unique trauma of experiencing statistically higher rates of mistreatment during birth, lower breastfeeding rates and higher rates of maternal and infant mortality, associated with racism and implicit bias. We stand to provide resources of support to help families meet their breastfeeding goals. While the FBC will ever and always continue to serve all Florida mothers, we stand in solidarity with the United States Breastfeeding Coalition, National WIC Association (NWICA), The Black Breastfeeding Caucus, and others who have also taken a specific stand to acknowledge and take action against racism, discrimination, and works to address specific disparities that disproportionately affect black, indigenous and mothers of all colors. Like all families, black families matter!
Resources and other statements from organizations:
- The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) https://www.usbreastfeeding.org/p/bl/et/blogid=61&blogaid=2207
- The National WIC Association (NWICA) https://www.nwica.org/blog/National-WIC-Association-Statement-Urgent-Action-Needed-Dispel-Racism-Safeguard-Black-Lives#.XvR6TGhKg2y
- Black Breastfeeding Caucus (BBC) https://blackmothersbreastfeeding.org/2020/06/statement-from-the-black-breastfeeding-caucus-in-support-of-black-mothers-and-families-fol-lowing-the-murder-of-george-floyd-and-breonna-taylor/
- International Lactation Consultants Association (ILCA) https://lactationmatters.org/2020/06/02/ilca-statement-in-support-of-black-families-in-the-united-states/
Florida Medicaid Breast pump coverage
- With the help of breast pump manufacturers and clinicians across the state, the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition helped facilitate the coverage of electric breast pumps for Medicaid recipient as of June 20th, 2016.
- Visit the Durable medical equipment reimbursement fee schedule for breast pumps (page 6 & 7) HERE for details.
Taking Legislative Action
- Visit the United States Breastfeeding Committee to keep abreast of existing legislation and breastfeeding advocacy efforts by contacting your state representatives.
- Witness other action items supported by FBC, like USBC advocacy day, public letters upholding Florida’s right to breastfeeding in public and federal labor laws visit our archive site.
Florida Breastfeeding Laws and Statutes available HERE.
- 383.015 Breastfeeding.—The breastfeeding of a baby is an important and basic act of nurture which must be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health and family values, and in furtherance of this goal:
- (1) A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.
- (2) A facility lawfully providing maternity services or newborn infant care may use the designation “baby-friendly” if it establishes a breastfeeding policy in accordance with s. 383.016.
- History.—s. 1, ch. 93-4; s. 2, ch. 94-217.
- For a Summary of State Breastfeeding laws in the USA visit HERE
- If your Civil Right to breastfeed your child in a public place (where you and your child are authorized to be) has been violated:
- file a complaint with the Florida Attorney General
- Call the “Nursing In Public” Harassment Hotline 1-855-NIP-FREE
Know your rights – breastfeeding laws State by State –
Federal Labor Laws
- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a bill that has passed both the Senate and the House and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Bill includes federal worksite breastfeeding support.
Need Legal Help for court cases involving breastfeeding rights?
- Review these Litigation Consulting tips and Testifying in Court: the DOs and DON’Ts