August: National Breastfeeding Month 2015

iStock_000000548251Small b&wAugust is celebrated each year as National Breastfeeding Month, dedicated to increasing the rates of and supporting breastfeeding mothers.

Notable breastfeeding initiatives and news in Northeast Florida include:

  • The Healthy Start Coalition is currently implementing a grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials to improve breastfeeding initiation and duration rates within the Jacksonville Nurse-Family Partnership program. Strategies include peer support groups, professional consultation and increased accessibility to breast pumps, pumping stations and breastfeeding supplies, with a particular focus on first-time African American and teen mothers.
  • The Northeast Florida Breastfeeding Collaborative was launched in 2009 to promote and support improved policies and practices in delivering hospitals in the region. The Collaborative meets regularly to encourage baby-friendly hospitals and support breastfeeding moms.
  • Florida currently has nine Baby-Friendly Hospitals, two of which are in Northeast Florida (Naval Hospital Jacksonville and St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside.
  • Eight businesses in Northeast Florida have received the Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award from the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition. Seven businesses received the Gold Level (Baptist Medical Center — South, BMC — Beaches, BMC — Nassau, Flagler Hospital, Shands Jacksonville, Florida Proton Therapy Institute, Wolfson Children’s Hospital), while one received the Silver Level (CITI Family Center).
  • The Big Latch On, a worldwide simultaneous breastfeeding event held during World Breastfeeding Week, was held locally at Bay & Bee.