The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that chest/breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive measures a parent can take to protect the health of their infant. This reason helps drive the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (DNPA) to improve chest/breastfeeding rates throughout the state of Indiana. DNPA supports and works with many organizations and coalitions throughout the state to help support new families and improve chest/breastfeeding environments.
Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)
The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF administer the BFHI program internationally and work with the national authority in each country that confers the Baby-Friendly designation in their nation. More than 20,000 maternity facilities in 150 countries around the world have earned the Baby-Friendly designation.
The BFHI assists hospitals in giving parents the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue chest/breastfeeding their babies and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.
As part of a previous CDC grant, DNPA focused on increasing the number of Indiana hospitals that are designated as Baby-Friendly. Click here for a success story on that program.
Baby-Friendly Hospitals in Indiana
The CDC mPINC Survey
Hospital routines can help or hinder new parents and babies while they’re learning to chest/breastfeed. The CDC’s national survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) is administered every two years to monitor and examine changes in practices over time at all hospitals and birth centers with registered maternity beds in the United States and Territories. Check out Indiana’s latest mPINC score and how it compares to the rest of the country here.
The 2011 Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding outlines steps that can be taken to remove some of the obstacles faced by parents who want to chest/breastfeed their babies. The Call-to-Action calls for a society-wide approach to support chest/breastfeeding. A 2009 American Academy of Pediatrics cost analysis found that if 90% of families breastfed exclusively for 6 months, the United States would save $13 billion and prevent nearly 1,000 infant deaths per year.
Support in the Workplace
Almost 8o% of Indiana parents start off chest/breastfeeding, but the barriers of returning to work cause many people to stop before they have reached their infant feeding goals. It is important that parents who return to work or school be supported while balancing work and family responsibilities. Your right to express milk at work is protected by federal law that requires employers to provide two basic types of accommodations for employees: time and space for breastfeeding or pumping milk. Information about lactation laws can be found on the United States Breastfeeding Committee website. The Office on Women’s Health provides information to help parents successfully combine work and lactation. For more local resources, please visit IDOH Office of Women’s Health. The Business Case for Breastfeeding by the Office on Women’s Health is a comprehensive program designed to educate employers about the value of supporting breastfeeding employees in the workplace.
State Breastfeeding Plan
The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) has developed the Indiana State Breastfeeding Plan 2016-2021. This plan highlights the goals and activities IDOH has identified to promote, support, and encourage chest/breastfeeding in the Hoosier state. IDOH wants all families to be supported to reach their infant feeding goals. This plan is a great step to bring the state together in support of chest/breastfeeding. In 2022, IDOH will be updating this state plan.
Indiana chest/breastfeeding resources
- Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition
- Indiana Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC)
- La Leche League of Indiana
- Indiana Breastfeeding Coalition
- The Milk Bank
- IDOH Office of Women’s Health
Help with latching/pumping for your baby
- Global Health Media – latching demonstration video
- Latching and positioning – Kellymom, an evidence-based website for help with all things related to infant feeding
- More help with latching – La Leche League
- For pumping mothers – Lactation Consultant Nancy Mohrbacher
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- CDC Breastfeeding Report Cards - get the latest chest/breastfeeding statistics by state
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Breastfeeding
- Office on Women’s Health – Breastfeeding
Ann Marie Neeley, Statewide Breastfeeding Initiatives Manager
Contact for Chest/Breastfeeding