Breastfeeding your baby is one of the best things you can do to give your baby the healthiest possible start in life. Just because it is normal and natural, however, doesn’t mean that it is always easy.
Rest assured there are many resources in Indiana to help you succeed. See below for information and resources that will help you along your way.
Governor Pence's Condolence Letter for Terry Jo Curtis-breastfeeding advocate and founder of the Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition
Breastfeeding is Important for Baby
Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. It changes and adapts as your baby grows and is easy to digest since it was made just for your baby. It not only has just the right amount of nutrients, it also has antibodies that can prevent infection and fight disease. The National Office of Women’s Health put together a fantastic resource to discover Why Breastfeeding is Important.
Breastfeeding Matters for Mothers too
There are many benefits for moms who breastfeed. Mothers who breastfeed tend to return to pre-pregnancy weight faster. Breastfeeding also decreases the risk of certain cancers, type-2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Breastfeeding saves money since there is no formula to purchase. Less sick visits to the pediatrician for baby mean moms miss fewer days of work, saving money. Happy, healthy moms and babies mean a happy dad too!
Breastfeeding Laws in Indiana
The state of Indiana supports your decision to breastfeed!
Ind. Code § 16-35-6 allows a woman to breastfeed her child anywhere the law allows her to be. (HB 1510). Ind. Code § 5-10-6-2 and § 22-2-14-2 provide that state and political subdivisions shall provide for reasonable paid breaks for an employee to express breast milk for her infant, make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express breast milk in private and make reasonable efforts to provide for a refrigerator to keep breast milk that has been expressed. The law also provides that employers with more than 25 employees must provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express the employee's breast milk in private and if possible to provide a refrigerator for storing breast milk that has been expressed.
Breastfeeding Resources in Indiana
Hospitals know they play an important role in helping mothers and babies get off to a good start. For the latest list of Indiana hospitals who have taken ten evidenced-based steps to increase breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity click Here. However, support to help mothers reach breastfeeding goals is shared by many after the baby returns home. Community resources include:
- Indiana WIC
- Indiana State Breastfeeding Coalition
- Indy Breastfeeding Moms
- La Leche League of Indiana
- Indiana Mother's Milk Bank
- Indiana Model Hospital Breastfeeding Policy
National Breastfeeding Resources
The health of our nation is a conversation that has many facets. Yet the role that breastfeeding plays in reducing the incidences of infection and chronic disease is clearer than ever. There is also strong evidence that shows that businesses that support moms who breastfeed who return to work outside the home is good for the economy. Slowly but surely, breastfeeding is being reestablished as the cultural norm for our state and nation. Here are a few national resources:
- Business Case for Breastfeeding
- Surgeon General's Call to Action
- Break Time (work) for Nursing Mothers
- United States Breastfeeding Committee
- United States Breastfeeding Report Card
- Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey