Breastfeeding News



2018 Breastfeeding Report Card
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its 2018 Breastfeeding Report Card. The Report Card provides national and state-level data on breastfeeding objectives highlighted in Healthy People 2020 such as initiation, duration, and early introduction of formula to breastfed infants. High nationwide initiation suggests that many US mothers wish to breastfeed, yet much lower rates of any breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding by 6 and 12 months suggest mothers may not be receiving an adequate amount of support for their needs. Despite these difficulties, the report notes that the nation now meets 5 of the 8 Healthy People 2020 goals. Some findings include the following:

Among infants born in 2015:
• More than 4 out of 5 (83.2%) initiate breastfeeding.
• Almost half (46.9%) were exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months old.
• More than one-third (35.9%) of infants were breastfeeding at 12 months old.

• More than 1 in 4 babies are now born in facilities that provide recommended maternity care practices for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
• Almost half (49%) of employers provide work site lactation support programs.

Findings specific to New York State include the following:
• 85.1% of infants initiate breastfeeding
• 59.5% and 38.2% of infants are breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months, respectively.
• At 3 months of age only 42.8% of infants are exclusively breastfeeding. This number decreases to 21.4% by 6 months.
• The percentage of breastfed infants receiving formula before 2 days of age is 17.2% for the United States as a whole; In New York state this figure is 26.5%.

The WIC Program continues to promote and support breastfeeding as the normal method of infant feeding by helping mothers reach their breastfeeding goals. For additional information about the Report Card, click here.


World Breastfeeding Week 2018

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The Loving Support Award of Excellence program was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to recognize local WIC agencies that are providing exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities. There are three levels of awards that build on one another: 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. FNS announces the award winners each year during World Breastfeeding Week.
This year, FNS awarded a total of 90 WIC local agencies with awards, 78 Gold and 12 Gold Premiere. We are proud to announce that New York State led the nation with the most awardees of any individual state, receiving 8 Gold awards and 1 Gold Premiere. The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) would like to applaud our winners for their achievement and dedication to breastfeeding promotion and support year-round. This year’s winners are as follows: 

Gold Awardees:

  • LA #301 – Allegany County WIC Program
  • LA #215 – Anthony Jordan Healthlink WIC Program
  • LA #303 – Cornerstone Family Healthcare WIC Program
  • LA #236 – Monroe County WIC Program
  • LA #247 – Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center WIC Program
  • LA #222 – North Country Family Health Center WIC Program
  • LA #216 – Society for Protection and Care of Children WIC Program
  • LA #200 – Women’s Health Center of Albany Medical Center WIC Program

Gold Premiere Awardee:

  • LA #287 – NYC Health + Hospitals Coney Island WIC Program

For more information about the Loving Support Award application process, click here.


Black Breastfeeding Week
For several years, the month of August has been dedicated to highlighting awareness of breastfeeding challenges and benefits throughout the first week; featured as “National Breastfeeding Week”. This event is dedicated to the celebration and promotion of breastfeeding. The last week of August has been dedicated to promoting awareness of solutions to minimize the challenges and barriers faced within the black community through “Black Breastfeeding Week”.


Breastfeeding Toolkit for Business Owners
This year, the Center for Health Equity along with the NYC Commission on Human Rights and the NYC Small Business Services created a new Breastfeeding Toolkit for Business Owners. The toolkit gives small businesses the opportunity to create comfortable and welcoming spaces for breastfeeding. To learn more, click here.


Breastfeeding on the Subway in New York City
The Breastfeeding Subway Caravan is an annual event, sponsored by the New York City Breastfeeding Leadership Council, held to support and promote a woman’s right to breastfeed in public. Below are some highlights from this year’s event.

Attendees met on the steps of City Hall for a kick off the event featuring various speakers and elected officials from city, state, and federal levels. One such attendee was Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams who accepted an award for being a “Breastfeeding Champion” in his community and spoke on the importance of breastfeeding and a woman’s right to breastfeed. After the kickoff attendees took the A Train to Restoration Plaza in Bedford Stuyvesant, nursing their babies and chanting positive breastfeeding messages along the way. At Restoration Plaza a breastfeeding fair was held sponsored by the Brooklyn Alliance for Breastfeeding Empowerment (BABE). The fair featured food, live entertainment, informational handouts, and giveaways of items to promote literacy and good health. One NYS WIC local agency in attendance, Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center, was featured by News 12 Brooklyn. Interviews with Breastfeeding Coordinator Celia Deane Joe and other participants can be seen here.


Breastfeeding Awareness Month

The following photographs were taken by Tina Boyadjieva a New York City-based photographer who traveled to traveled to 18 different countries photographing mothers from all around the world.  

Breastfeeding Programs and Policies, Breastfeeding Uptake, and Maternal Health Outcomes in Developed Countries
(Systematic Review, released on July 18, 2018)

The objective of this review was “to summarize the effectiveness of community, workplace, and health care system–based programs and policies aimed at supporting and promoting breastfeeding, and to determine the association between breastfeeding and maternal health”.

One of the key messages was: “For women enrolled in the WIC Program, peer-support interventions offered by WIC agencies may improve rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration.


New USDA FNS Breastfeeding Campaign

USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has launched a new breastfeeding campaign called, “WIC Breastfeeding Support – Learn Together. Grow Together.” The new campaign was created to help encourage WIC moms to breastfeed their babies and to provide them with the support needed to succeed.

Pregnancy and post-pregnancy come with a lot of questions and worry. In visiting the website, new mothers and expectant mothers will find information on many of their questions – with topics ranging from the benefits of breastfeeding, breastfeeding supplies, baby hunger cues, to delivery room 101, various feeding holds, and even information on the phases of breast milk.

WIC local agencies will also find materials to share with participants; such as posters, educational materials and videos. Resources tailored to dads, grandparents and to the support network of infant caregivers are also available.

For more information on the WIC Breastfeeding Support campaign, please visit


New Jersey Supports Breastfeeding with Workplace Lactation Law

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide reasonable break time as well as a clean place for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year. New Jersey joined 27 other states, including New York, who have additional laws to protect breastfeeding mothers in the workplace. Governor Christie signed legislation amending laws to prohibit employers from firing or discriminating against workers who may need time to express milk during the work day. The employer must provide reasonable break time and a suitable private place to express milk.

For information about the Federal workplace law:
For information about the NYS law:
View the NYS Making it Work tool kit:


Breastfeeding Offers Protection Against Diabetes

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found increased breastfeeding duration reduces the incidence of diabetes.  This 30-year study found a 25% to 47% reduction of the incidence of diabetes in women who breastfed.  With several studies through the years looking at the effect lactation has on diabetes this study looked at pre-pregnancy biochemical measures, clinical and demographic risk factors, lifestyle behaviors, weight gain and gestational diabetes risk, which previous studies have not. Simply stated, the longer a woman breastfeeds the more protection is offered to her against diabetes.

View the complete study here:


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Adds Information About WIC To Their Website

ICON acogIt is important for physicians to be aware of all WIC offers and now obstetricians can learn more about WIC by viewing information from ACOG’s website.  Click here to view their page: