Breastfeeding Promotional Campaign: It’s good for infants & mothers, it’s good for business!

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                    We have known for years that breastfeeding in the first year of life is extremely beneficial to the infant and the Mother.  Breastfed infants are protected against ear infections, allergies, respiratory problems, diabetes, and have a boost in their immune system.  Breastfeeding has been also shown to boost intelligence later in life, help with immunization responses in children, and reduce the risk of childhood obesity.

Studies show that women who breastfeed for at least six months to a year, have better postpartum recovery, better postpartum weight loss, have a lower chance of developing breast cancer, decreased risks of ovarian, uterine, and endometrial cancers, and lower occurrences of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

Besides the health benefits the economic benefits of breastfeeding are astounding!  The 2001 USDA report states that if current breastfeeding levels (29% at six months) were increased to the U.S. surgeon General recommended levels (50% at six months), a minimum of $3.6 billion would be saved!

The Bay Area is the hub of innovative technology and scientific research, housing both the Silicon Valley and Biotech Bay, boasting such companies like Google and Genentech.  Hence the Bay Area is a great place to begin policy changes to promote childcare at the workplace.  As part of a breastfeeding promotional campaign in the Bay Area, the California Department of Public Health should encourage state policy makers to offer tax relief for employers that offer childcare for their employees.

The second part of this campaign should focus on extending the California maternity leave so that mothers can breastfeed exclusively longer and devote more time and energy in establishing breastfeeding before returning to work.

Employers getting tax breaks for offering childcare will benefit the whole community.  Mothers can establish breastfeeding while on maternity leave and once they return to work will be more likely to continue breastfeeding for the recommended six months and beyond since their childcare would be at work!  The new childcare centers will also provide jobs for many in a state where unemployment is currently at a high 12.1%!  Helping working mothers breastfeed is good for mothers and infants and it is good for the community!

 

For more information and references please see following links:

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=593960

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8259187

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7672888

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8704355

http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr13/fanrr13.pdf

http://blogs.babble.com

www.marinij.com/marin/ci_4145621

http://corporatevoices.wordpress.com

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5 Responses to “Breastfeeding Promotional Campaign: It’s good for infants & mothers, it’s good for business!”

  1. deegarey Says:

    The list of benefits of breastfeeding continues to grow. There was a recently published articles in Pediatrics that showed that breastfeeding is also associated with decreased risk of SIDS. (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/1/103.long) I think giving the mothers the opportunity to breast feed while returning to work is a great option for working mothers. I hope that programs like this are successful.

  2. sberger4mph Says:

    Efforts to increase opportunities for new mothers to breastfeed serve an important public health need. I also support efforts like The Breastfeeding Resource Center (BRC) that assists women who may have difficulties initiating breastfeeding [http://www.breastfeedingresourcecenter.org/].

    I applaud the design and content of your post!

  3. judypressleyphillips Says:

    I agree with you. This also will allow the mother to have a cross over from staying home with the infant to working. I remember leaving my infant at 4 weeks and returning to work. I would have been more productive at work and home if I had the opportunity to breast feed from work…Childcare at the workplace is an awesome approach. Breast feeding is the best for the mother and baby.
    http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx
    According to the CDC 75% of mothers initially breast feed but at 6 months only 15% are still breast feeding. Adding these opportunities would greatly increase this 15%.

  4. cnreyes Says:

    Efforts to encourage breastfeeding will continue to benefit the health of growing children. Aside from physiologic benefits, breastfeeding is a also cost-effective if it is the primary means of nutrition for a child. Although the campaign is pushing for allowing breastfeeding in the work place, what strategies will be implemented to allow similar privilages to mothers who do not work in settings that are conducive having an infant present (i.e. hospital inpatient settings, clinics, etc)?

  5. aclandry Says:

    I agree breast feeding promotional campaigns would be great for all! What is the opposition to breast feeding promotional campaigns? Is there just the individuals’ behaviors and choices to bottle feed or limit breast feeding or is there any collective opposition?

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