Member to Member

Congratulations on meeting all five of the Healthy People 2010 goals for breastfeeding. What projects have you been working on at the state level that have contributed to this success?   

Cristi Litzsinger, RD, LD, IBCLC
Idaho WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator
Idaho Department of Health & Welfare 

In Idaho, breastfeeding rates in the early postpartum period historically have met or exceeded the Healthy People 2010 goals. However, the duration rate goals have only recently been met. With the support of Title V funding, many types of programs and projects have been implemented in Idaho through MCH, in order to increase the breastfeeding duration rates. The following is a sample of programs or projects that have occurred in the past five years that have promoted and supported breastfeeding. 

In 2007, Idaho MCH sponsored Nancy Wight to present at a breastfeeding pre-conference at the Idaho Perinatal Project conference. The Idaho Perinatal Project Conference is an annual conference that attracts healthcare and community providers from around the state in the fields of obstetrics, neonatology, pediatrics and others. In 2008, Idaho MCH sponsored Paula Meier to present at the Idaho Perinatal Project breastfeeding pre-conference.  

In 2007 and currently, MCH has supported the State WIC Program in working with Local Breastfeeding Coalitions around the state to implement the Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Project. Breastfeeding Coalitions provide employers with technical assistance needed in order to become a Breastfeeding Friendly Employer. Idaho WIC and MCH are committed to continuing to work on interventions that promote breastfeeding in Idaho. 

 

Chris Fogelman, RD, MPH, LN, CLC
Breastfeeding Coordinator
Public Health Nutritionist
Montana WIC Program
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services 

The Montana WIC Program has promoted and supported breastfeeding for many years. In 2004, funds earmarked for Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Programs (BPCP) became available. Ravalli WIC became the pilot BPCP. Since then we have added additional programs; in 2011, we will have 12 BPCP serving over half of our pregnant and breastfeeding participants. 

State and local staff attended several different Loving Support and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) trainings. Local programs are alerted to other breastfeeding training. Support for continuing education credits to maintain CLC certification is available. 

In meeting the HP2010 goals, Montana WIC did not work alone. We worked with the Nutrition and Physical Activity Program to coordinate our efforts. WIC joined with others across the state to establish the Montana State Breastfeeding Coalition. 

In recent legislative sessions, Montana added two new laws which 1) require state, county and city governments, universities, colleges and public schools to make worksite accommodations for breastfeeding employees and 2) deferment of jury duty for breastfeeding women. Montana WIC and the Department of Public Health and Human Services supported the legislation. Leading by example, WIC worked to establish a breastfeeding room in our building. 
 

Audrey Knight MSN, RN
Child Health Nurse Consultant
Maternal and Child Health Section
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services 

MCH cheered on as Governor John Lynch proclaimed the first week in August 2010 New Hampshire Breast Feeding Awareness Week. By working with partners like WIC, MCH has worked hard to improve breastfeeding initiation and duration rates throughout the state.  

Breastfeeding has been identified as a priority for MCH- funded community health centers and prenatal programs. In New Hampshire, MCH requires the state-funded community health centers to develop a quality improvement performance measure of exclusive breastfeeding through an infant’s first three months. To enhance collaboration with the WIC Program at both the state and local agency level, to improve breastfeeding rates, increase mutually enrolled clients, and better utilize services, MCH and WIC surveyed its local agencies in 2009 and followed it with a daylong workshop to share best practices. Collaborations like these translate into improved outcomes for moms and babies. 

At the state systems level, MCH participates on the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force, which successfully assisted in the passing of legislation in 1999 supporting a woman’s right to breastfeed in public. The task force is now focusing on increasing its “Baby Friendly”-designated hospitals. Working with healthcare facilities is an important strategy to provide a supportive pathway for women to achieve their breastfeeding intentions and guide the training of healthcare professionals in breastfeeding support.