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Breastfeeding

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant. This reason helps drive the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (DNPA) to improve breastfeeding rates throughout the state of Indiana. DNPA supports and works with many organizations and coalitions throughout the state to help support breastfeeding mothers and improve breastfeeding environments. 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
    • Community Hospital of Anderson
    • IU Health Methodist Hospital
    • Logansport Memorial Hospital
    • IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital
    • Franciscan Health Indianapolis
    • Henry Community Health
    • Pulaski Memorial Hospital
    • Parkview Whitley Hospital
    • Reid Health Hospital
    • Columbus Regional Hospital
    • Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center – Plymouth
    • IU Health Bloomington Hospital
    • Union Hospital, Inc.
    • Goshen Hospital
    • Schneck Medical Center
    • Elkhart General Hospital
    • Memorial Hospital of South Bend
    • Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center – Mishawaka
    • St. Mary Medical Center

The CDC mPINC Survey

Hospital routines can help or hinder new mothers and babies while they’re learning to 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.

National Breastfeeding Support

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 women who want to breastfeed their babies. The Call to Action calls for a society-wide approach to support mothers and babies who are breastfeeding. A 2009 American Academy of Pediatrics cost analysis found that if 90% of women 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

Today, more than 75% of women in the United States begin breastfeeding, but the most frequent time for a woman to stop breastfeeding is when she returns to work. Women with children are the fastest-growing segment of the work force, and balancing work and family is an important priority for them. It is important for returning mothers to be in a work environment that provides adequate space and time for them to express their milk during the work day. This allows a woman to continue to give her best efforts at work and for her baby. National resources for supporting breastfeeding moms at work can be found at Office of Women’s Health. For more local resources, please visit ISDH Office of Women’s Health

Federal law requires that employers provide two basic types of accommodations for breastfeeding employees: time and space for breastfeeding or pumping breast milk. Information about the laws can be found on the United States Breastfeeding Committee website.

Local Breastfeeding Support

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has developed the Indiana State Breastfeeding Plan 2016 - 2021. This plan highlights the goals and activities ISDH has identified to promote, support and encourage breastfeeding in the Hoosier state. ISDH wants all mothers and families to feel comfortable setting breastfeeding goals and to be successful in meeting them. This plan is a great step to help move the state together as a whole in support of breastfeeding.

For more information on where you can find breastfeeding support in your area or around the state, please visit the following websites:

Our State Partners/Resources:

Breastfeeding Resources