Breastfeeding News


The Journal of Breastfeeding Medicine published a study in January 2017, titled; “Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding Patterns Among Women Enrolled in WIC: WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2.”, “Feeding My Baby”.

This large study conducted over a period of 5 years, across states nationwide looked at infant and toddler feeding practices during late pregnancy and early infancy used by parents and nutrition outcomes of children enrolled in WIC and the effect WIC has on these practices.

The study looked at:

• Attitudes toward breastfeeding
• Infant feeding perceptions of WIC services
• Where participants go for feeding advice
• Knowledge of WIC benefits and food packages

The study showed negative views of breastfeeding have decreased from 1995 to 2013 with 80% of WIC mothers believing breastfed babies are heathier offering them protection from disease and creating a strong bond with baby. From 1995 to 2013 negative views about breastfeeding has decreased.
The good news is, breastfeeding rates have more than doubled since earlier studies.

Main findings:

• The percentage of WIC infants who are exclusively breastfed without supplementation is very small
• Maternal race and ethnicity, immigrant status and maternal education are associated with the choice of feeding methods
• In addition to formula supplementation, substantial breastfed infants also receive some supplemental foods during the first few months
• Half of breastfeeding mothers supplement about the time their infant is 2 months old
• Mothers who have breastfeeding problems are 70% more likely to supplement
• Perceived benefits of breastfeeding are associated with lower likelihood of supplementation
• Knowledge of the WIC breastfeeding food package is associated with lower supplementation
• Half of WIC mothers who initiative breastfeeding wean their infant by 57 days of age
• Early initiation of cow’s milk or other milk appears to be less of a problem for WIC mothers
• 70% of mothers did not reach their breastfeeding goal

To view the reports:

• WIC IFPS- 1 Infant Feeding Practices Study, 1997 -
• WIC ITFPS-2 Infant Report: Intention to Breastfeed, 2015 -
• WIC ITFPS-2 Infant Report: Infant Year Report, 2017 -


Breastfeeding reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
We know breastfeeding decreases the risk of SIDS by 50 % or more. A study published in Science Daily, October 30, 2017, looked at breastfeeding duration and exclusively demonstrates breastfeeding for just 2 months cuts the risk in half and the longer baby is breastfed the greater the protection. The important finding in this study where they looked at several studies, mothers do not have to breastfeed exclusively, as previously thought. This is good news for mothers who chose to both breast and formula feed or are unable to exclusively breastfeed. You may wonder how breastfeeding influences SIDS, it is thought that breastfeeding offers protection against illness, has a calming effect on baby and the mother and helps baby organize their sleep/wake cycle.

To view the study:


Loving Support Award of Excellence
USDA has announced the Loving Support Award of Excellence application period from October 10 to December 17, 2017. This award was developed to recognize and celebrate WIC Local agencies that provide exemplary breastfeeding programs and support services.

Local WIC agencies that have operated a peer counseling program for at least one year, which meets all the required core components of the FNS Loving Support© Model for a successful peer counseling program, are eligible to apply. The award is available at three levels of performance: Gold, Gold Premiere, and Gold Elite. This approach recognizes three groups of agencies that include those that are demonstrating model practices, as well as those who are at varying stages of implementing exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support practices. The Loving Support awards are valid for a 4 year period; however an LA may apply for an award of higher achievement each year.

The latest application, instructions, and frequently asked questions documents can be found here.

Resources that are being provided to assist in the application process include the important attachments as well as these helpful links:
FY 2016 WIC Breastfeeding Data Local Agency Report 
Loving Support Award of Excellence Application Page 
Loving Support Award FAQs
Past award winners 


Northeast Region Loving Support Awards
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed an internal Northeast Regional Office (NERO) Newsletter, 'At The Table'. This newsletter showcases the wonderful work that USDA's nutrition assistance programs are doing in our region, and the strong community partnerships that they have established.
We are delighted to announce that this year’s USDA Loving Support Awardees from the Northeast region are featured in the newsletter. The newsletter includes great pictures of our USDA representatives personally awarding our local agencies with their awards! The Northeast Region, comprised of 7 states, awarded 12 WIC local agencies in the NERO region with Loving Support Awards. New York local agencies received 8 of the 12 awards. They are as follows:

  • Whitney Young Health Center
  • Opportunities for Otsego, Inc.
  • Clinton County Health Department
  • Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center
  • St. Barnabas Health System
  • Urban Health Plan
  • Catholic Charities of Buffalo
  • The Stony Brook WIC Program


New York City Launches Lactation Pods

podsNursing got easier in NY City with the addition of several lactation pods placed through the five boroughs of New York City in support of breastfeeding mothers. The lactation pods have a door that lock, a bench, changing table and electrical outlet for mothers to pump.The pods are located at the Queens Hospital Center, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Staten Island Children’s Museum, the Bronx Zoo and Harlem Hospital Center. Women can breastfeed anywhere in NY State, these pods provide a safe, clean space when a mother desires some privacy to help make breastfeeding easier and more comfortable.


inside pods


New Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) released

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) entitled, "Trends in Breastfeeding Among Infants Enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children — New York, 2002–2015." To assess breastfeeding trends among New York State WIC infants, indicators for measuring breastfeeding practices reported by the New York State WIC Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS) during 2002–2015 were examined. Despite improvements in breastfeeding initiation, increasing the duration of breastfeeding and of exclusive breastfeeding among infants enrolled in the New York State WIC program remains challenging. Identifying targeted strategies to support continued and exclusive breastfeeding should remain priorities for the New York State WIC program.


A Community Partnership to Support Breastfeeding Mothers of Late Preterm Infants

Late preterm infants are those born between 34 and 36 weeks’ gestation. These babies present challenges to mothers who want to exclusively breastfeed. These infants often adapt well to life outside the womb and may have difficulties with suck, have more sleepiness, low breast milk intake putting them at risk for readmission to the hospital for jaundice, weight loss or slow weight gain. In a recent article "A Community Partnership to Support Breastfeeding Mothers of Late Preterm Infants", published in Nursing for Women’s Health, August/September 2017 the article shows the importance of support for the late pre-term mother.
A partnership was formed between WIC and the hospital to ensure seamless continuity of care for mothers faced with unique challenges.
A tertiary hospital in the Mountain West region of the U.S. and a WIC peer counselor program formed a partnership to improve breastfeeding outcomes for the late preterm infant. The peer counselors received training to understand the challenges mothers faced and were encouraged to listen, encourage the mother and refer situations that were outside their scope of practice. The hospital NICU RN, Lactation Consultant would notify the WIC peer counselor and the PC would meet the mother in the hospital. This project was expanded beyond the NICU to the hospital mother/baby unit where all WIC mother/baby dyads were connected with a PC.

To review the entire article, visit:

In a recent Webinar Dr. Marianne Neifert discussed how to support the mother of the late preterm infant: Preemie Series: “Just a Few Weeks Early, Breastfeeding Management for the Late Preterm Infant”. The achieved webinar can be viewed here.


World Breastfeeding Week 2017: August 1-7

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week will be August 1-7. This the 25th year of World Breastfeeding Week, a campaign by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by linking each goal to breastfeeding.
Together, let’s attract political support, media attention, participation of young people and widen our pool of celebrants and supporters.

Check the website for updates on local events as they are released: and this video.



wbw2017 logo


Upcoming Breastfeeding Conferences:

WORLD Breastfeeding Week Breastfeeding Grand Rounds 2017

The Impact of Social and Cultural Values on Breastfeeding Practice and Strategies to Address Disparities

August 3, 2017- 8:30am - 10:30am ET

To register visit:


Understanding Health Care Reform & Breastfeeding

Wondering how health care reform might impact breastfeeding promotion? The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee recently published a summary of the breastfeeding provisions in the Affordable Care Act. They also summarized potential impacts to breastfeeding from the proposed American Health Care Act. Read their analysis here.


Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Releases Revised Supplementary Feedings Protocol
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) recently updated their protocol for supplementary feedings of breastfed newborns. The revised protocol highlights ways to reduce the need for supplementary feedings, and clarifies how providers can determine whether supplementation is truly required. The revised protocol can be found here.


New York State Family Leave
In 2016, Governor Cuomo signed into law the nation’s strongest and most comprehensive Paid Family Leave policy. Starting January 1, 2018, New York will have the strongest paid family leave plan in the nation to ensure that no one will have to choose between losing a job and missing the birth of a child or being able to spend time with a loved one in their final days.
The Family Leave Program will provide New Yorkers job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or to help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service. Read more.


Dr. Howard Zucker’s Breastfeeding Call to Action
The 2016 Breastfeeding Grand Rounds featured a video roll-in of New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker, MD, JD, who spoke on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding as a public health priority. Dr. Zucker acknowledged the progress made in NYS to strengthen breastfeeding practices, and highlighted the revised Perinatal Regulations and the new Paid Family Leave Act.
Dr. Zucker’s important message has been adapted into a Dear Colleague letter that has been sent to over 78,000 email addresses of physicians and hospital leaders across the state. This letter builds upon his Call to Action and encourages the development of supportive, enabling environments across the continuum for all women who want to breastfeed, including the importance of working with moms prenatally and early postpartum, and referral to WIC for breastfeeding education and support. The release of this letter provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen collaborations with community providers and to promote WIC as the breastfeeding experts in the community.
Use it as a conversation starter to begin a discussion with providers and community partners on how to establish breastfeeding as a social norm. We all share a responsibility in improving support for women and their families, and invite you to be an agent for change.