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Breastfeeding Essentials

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Prevention Services Division promotes exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life and continued breastfeeding for at least one year.*  Exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding are the most cost effective strategies for reducing infant and maternal illness yet it is difficult for mothers in Colorado to achieve. In Colorado, only 1 out of 4 infants are breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life and similiarly, 1 out of 4 infants continue to be breastfed through their first birthday. Social, environmental and structural barriers within hospitals, workplaces, child care settings, and communities must be removed to achieve equal opportunity for all women to provide normal nutrition and development for their infants.  

To illustrate the need for building support across Colorado:

1)     89% of Colorado mothers initiate breastfeeding illustrates which clearly illustrates that Colorado mothers want to provide normal human nutrition for their babies.
2)     Colorado and Federal laws define the support necessary for nursing mothers in the workplace. These laws put in place requirements that reduce the gap in support women may experienced based on where they work and the type of work they perform.
3)     National health goals (Healthy People 2020) set breastfeeding priorities to advance maternal and infant health while the Surgeon General's 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding describes to citizens and communities their role in how to support breastfeeding families.
Embracing change to develop a culture where breastfeeding is supported means a future where mothers, infants, and Colorado communities are healthier.
*The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding with the addition of complementary foods. 


Questions: cdphe.psdrequests@state.co.us


For information about breastfeeding, ask your health care provider, hospital staff where you plan to deliver or visit the following links:


Se habla español:

Para mayor información sobre la lactancia materna, hable con su proveedor de cuidados de salud o con el personal del hospital donde piensa dar a luz. También puede visitar estas páginas de Internet para información en español: