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bfproIt’s World Breastfeeding Week, and Massachusetts has a lot to celebrate!  This year’s theme is sustainability and the importance of partnerships in promoting breastfeeding.  So this month, in particular, I am inspired by how our state has come together for a shared goal: to give breastfeeding infants and their mothers the best possible start!

Since 1996, the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition (MBC) has been a solid source of information and advocacy which has helped families and medical providers.  The MBC established the Massachusetts Baby-Friendly Hospital Collaborative in 2012.  The Collaborative meets every other month with the goal of improving maternity care practices that help support breastfeeding.   Through this forum, hospitals are able to join together and share their successes, challenges, and lessons learned.  We are pleased that several WIC programs are now involved in the collaborative, and WIC Breastfeeding Coordinators around the state have started to build partnerships with the birth hospitals in their communities.

As breastfeeding initiation rates increase, so does the need for support in the community!  WIC is proud to offer strong breastfeeding support services.  Our well-trained staff offers families free breastfeeding counseling and education.  Currently, Massachusetts WIC employs 25 International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and 100 Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) at our 31 local WIC programs.  Through our Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program, mothers receive individualized support in their own language from other moms who have walked in their shoes.  For more information on the many breastfeeding resources provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the WIC program, visit www.mass.gov/dph/breastfeeding.

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week—and Massachusetts Breastfeeding Month!—I want to give a big shout out to some of the many partnerships and organizations in Massachusetts that have worked together to promote and support breastfeeding this past year:

(http://bace-nmc.org/)

Let’s celebrate our accomplishments together!  Contact your local WIC program to find out about special breastfeeding events in your community.

Written By:


WIC Nutritionist

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