20 Actions in 20 Days: Support research capacity

20 Actions in 20 Days

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has called on the entire nation to take 20 concrete action steps from the January 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding to support the removal of barriers to breastfeeding. The United States Breastfeeding Committee is hosting a “20 Actions in 20 Days” campaign to highlight these action steps and implementation strategies.

Action 18: Strengthen existing capacity and develop future capacity for conducting research on breastfeeding.

The Call to Action identifies significant knowledge gaps when it comes to breastfeeding data, such as barriers to breastfeeding among populations with low rates of breastfeeding and economic research on how breastfeeding affects mothers and employers. To build capacity for research, strengthening surveillance at state and local levels should be a priority.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently have a number of breastfeeding-related research studies underway in collaboration with universities, including looking at peer counseling for breastfeeding education and how “Baby Friendly” status impacts breastfeeding rates.

In Florida, the Department of Health has been surveying WIC agencies to better support and improve the Florida WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program.