Best Practices

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding provides numerous benefits to mother and infant, the environment and to Colorado communities. Despite the wide acknowledgement of breastfeeding as one of the most important contributors to infant and maternal health, many women in Colorado do not breastfeed their infants beyond one month. While at least 86 percent of mothers initiate breastfeeding, less than 50 percent are still breastfeeding at six months postpartum.

 

Breastfeeding is highlighted as one of public health's challenges with low breastfeeding rates among lower income, younger, less educated and/or minority women. The Colorado WIC Program serves many of these populations and reports lower breastfeeding rates with 74 percent of mothers initiating breastfeeding and less than one-third of mothers breastfeeding at six months postpartum.

 

There are many areas that must be enhanced to improve the promotion, support and protection of breastfeeding. These areas include:

 

  • Improving maternity care practices
  • Offering workplace breastfeeding support
  • Ensuring availability of peer support
  • Strengthening maternal breastfeeding education and professional support/education
  • Targeting the marketing of breast milk substitutes
  • Improving public acceptance of breastfeeding and the presentation of breastfeeding in the media
  • Making accessible breastfeeding resources and hotlines

 

Background Documents

Colorado specific information:

Colorado Legislation Regarding Breastfeeding

 

Evidence-Based Programs

 

Related Colorado Programs

Resources