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Breastfeeding Coalition Takes Bold Steps to Combat Rising Infant Mortality Rates
From the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition
In response to the alarming increase in infant mortality rates newly reported by the National Center for Health Statistics, the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition is intensifying its efforts to promote breastfeeding as a crucial strategy for improving infant health and community well-being.
The report released in November has revealed a significant rise in the number of American babies who died before their first birthdays, marking the first increase in the nation's infant mortality rate in 20 years. This distressing trend underscores the urgent need for comprehensive initiatives to enhance the health outcomes of newborns.
The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition, a leading advocate for breastfeeding support, recognizes the pivotal role that breastfeeding plays in promoting infant health. Breast milk is known to provide essential nutrients and antibodies that protect babies from infections and diseases, significantly reducing the risk of mortality. Additionally, breastfeeding fosters a strong mother-infant bond and provides many health benefits to the birthing person too.
To address this critical issue, the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition is amplifying its efforts to raise awareness about the life-saving health benefits of breastfeeding. The coalition will collaborate with healthcare professionals, community organizations, and policymakers to implement evidence-based, culturally informed strategies aimed at increasing breastfeeding rates in San Diego County.
5 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby
- Breastfeeding can reduce the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
- It helps the uterus return to pre-pregnancy size and burns extra calories, helping moms return to their pre-pregnancy weight.
- Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of obesity, type 1 diabetes, ear infections and asthma.
- Breastfeeding is linked to a reduced risk of SIDS, especially when breastfeeding exclusively.
- Formula is expensive. Breastfeeding is free!
Overall, breastfeeding is a win-win for both baby and mother, contributing to their overall health and well-being.
The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition is calling on all maternal and infant health advocates to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. Some 10,000 Breastfeeding Resource Guides are being distributed throughout San Diego County to connect families to a variety of lactation support practitioners. The coalition is also expanding its multilingual breastfeeding support warmline to connect new parents and community members to education, resources, and support groups. The warmline number is 1-800-371-6455 (MILK). Download the guide at this link.
“I find the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition Resource Guide to be such an invaluable resource,” said Christina T, an inpatient lactation consultant at a local hospital. “We share this guide with our families before discharge so they have an easily accessible list of outpatient resources. Navigating life at home with a newborn can be very challenging, and when provided with this resource, families do not have to feel so alone.”
About the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition
Their mission is to improve the health and well-being of the community by protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding through education, outreach, advocacy, and service. The coalition strives to make breastfeeding possible by working with mothers, businesses, healthcare professionals, and the community. Learn more at breastfeeding.org or find them on social media @sdbreastfeeding.
Key Initiatives Include:
- Education and Outreach Programs: The coalition commits to distribute over 10,000 Breastfeeding Resource Guides in multiple languages to new parents, organizations, and workplaces throughout the county. The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition also continues to expand its support warmline to provide breastfeeding education and referrals in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Korean, Haitian, French, and Arabic. The goal is to educate families on the benefits of breastfeeding while uplifting a supportive network of resources in their communities.
- Supportive Environments: The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition will work closely with healthcare facilities, workplaces, and public spaces to create supportive environments for breastfeeding mothers. This includes advocating for breastfeeding-friendly policies and spaces to ensure that mothers and families feel empowered to breastfeed in any setting.
- Advocacy for Policy Change: The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition will actively engage with policymakers to advocate for policies that support breastfeeding mothers, such as paid maternity leave, workplace accommodations, and breastfeeding-friendly public spaces.