Governor Reynolds will be signing a proclamation declaring August 2017 as Iowa Breastfeeding Month. The signing and picture will take place at the Capital on August 2nd, 2017 at 2 pm in Room 109. Feel free to come and show your support for breastfeeding!
The Family Friendly Business Initiative is spreading across Iowa and the Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition (IBC) is offering to assist interested coalitions or communities. The goal of the initiative is to make it easier for mothers to nurse their little ones when they are out shopping. This project provides an opportunity to educate businesses and their employees. The initiative encourages businesses to provide a welcoming attitude and comfortable clean accommodations for breastfeeding mothers.
If your group would like to promote the Family Friendly Business Initiative in your area, Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition grant opportunity is available with funds to assist. The grant is for local breastfeeding coalitions established with the IBC or community groups. The grant was released in April 2013. The IBC will fund a maximum of $50 for each approved proposal. Applicants must show matching funds of 100%. The application is available on the Family Friendly Business tab.
The theme for World Breastfeeding Week in 2017 is Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.
Over 170 countries including the US will be celebrating World Breastfeeding Week on August 1-7, 2017.
For more information in 2017, visit the World Breastfeeding Week website .
How are you celebrating World Breastfeeding Week this year in your community? Share your ideas and events here by posting below!
This article about free formula bags given to families in hospitals is written by Anne M. Murphy, RNC, an experienced nurse at a large birthing hospital in Iowa. What are your thoughts about giving free formula bags to families before they are discharged from the hospital? Share your thoughts by posting below.
I recently read a Medscape editorial: “U.S. Hospitals Pressured to End Free Baby Formula”. The article pointed out that giving formula gift packs to breastfeeding moms at discharge from the hospital is in violation of the World Health Organization Code and recommendations from not only the CDC, but also the AAP, ACOG and the GAO. I was curious to read more on the subject, as I was unaware of these recommendations and I followed up by reading several other journal articles.
One article was from the Journal of Human Lactation, “US Hospitals Violate WHO Policy on the Distribution of Formula Sample Packs: Results of a National Survey” by Anne Merewood, et al, published September 24, 2010. Another article is “Hospital Practices and Women’s Likelihood of Fulfilling Their Intention to Exclusively Breastfeed” by Eugene Declercq, MD, et al from the American Journal of Public Health, May 2009. A third article is “Trends in US Hospital Distribution of Industry-Sponsored Infant Formula Sample Packs” by Radha Sadacharan, et al, published in Pediatrics, September 26, 2011. I also read the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiatives that promote breastfeeding support as outlined by UNICEF/WHO. Number 6 on this initiative is “Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.”
This gist of all the articles was that the majority of US hospitals, especially in the Midwest and South, still promote the use of formula by giving out the free formula gift packs to breastfeeding mothers, thereby conflicting new mothers and undermining successful breastfeeding. US Healthy People 2010 objectives call for 60% of all new mothers to exclusively breastfeed at 6 months. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months is what AAP recommends also. Supplementation of breastfeeding infants and being given free formula samples was significantly associated with mothers’ failure to fulfill their intentions to exclusively breastfeed according to these articles. Four hospital practices that have been statistically linked with likelihood of successful breasting are (1) helping mothers get started with breastfeeding, (2) no supplementation with formula or water while in the hospital, (3) offering community resources for breastfeeding support after discharge, and (4) staff not giving the infant a pacifier. In cases where mothers reported a comprehensive package of these supportive practices, primiparas were 6 times more likely to achieve their intention to exclusively breastfeed. Incidentally, some states and cities have actual bans on the practice of formula giveaways.
In our director’s last newsletter, she pointed out that 86% of breastfeeding mothers surveyed at our hospital wished to receive the option of the formula samples. Some surveys have even suggested that mothers would not choose a hospital where the option of free packs was not available. Everyone likes to get free stuff. This presents a conundrum for the postpartum nurse. If it is better for the nursing infant to go home without any formula samples, should we even be offering this to them? Several years ago, it was suggested where I work to only give the formula packs to mothers who ask for them. In other words, do not bring the subject up to them first. This is the policy I go by. I do not offer it to breastfeeding moms and only give them out if a mom asks me for it. I’m anxious to hear everyone else’s thoughts and practices with this.
The Business Case for Breastfeeding is part of a nationwide emphasis aimed at encouraging women to breastfeed their infants for a longer duration after they return to work. The state of Iowa was one of 10 states selected in 2009 to receive funding to promote breastfeeding in the workplace. The Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition used part of that funding to provide 9 businesses throughout the state $500 grants to create or improve lactation rooms at their workplace. Now that the grant is completed, the participating businesses have shared how it has impacted breastfeeding promotion. Visit the Business Case for Breastfeeding page to read their responses.
The Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa is in urgent need of milk donors to meet the increased demand for donor human milk.
Healthy, lactating mothers are asked to consider donating their extra milk. Milk donors are not on medication with a few exceptions, are willing to be screened for health and lifestyle behaviors and communicable diseases and can deliver their milk to the milk bank or one of its 13 milk collection depots in Iowa.
Your donations help babies in the hospital and at home thrive and grow.
Please call the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa today. 877-891-5347, 319-384-9929 (Ann Jurgensen) or 319-356-2652 (Jean Drulis).
Download the press release here.
Ginna Wall, MN, IBCLC, has updated her report summarizing the current research on the benefits of breastfeeding. The summary focuses on 3 areas: Effects on the Infant, Maternal Effects, and Societal Effects. The most recent report (updated in February 2013) is now posted on the Providers page.
The Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition has updated the Breastfeeding Counseling Guides and they are now available to download and print. These one-page (front and back) guides are designed for health care professionals to use when they are counseling breastfeeding women. There are 6 guides available: prenatal, 1 week, 2 weeks, 4 months, 6 months, and 9 months. All are available free of charge on the Providers page.