Online Program

Making change that matters: Working together for a breastfeeding friendly Philadelphia

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Katja Pigur, MEd, CLC, Maternity Care Coalition, Philadelphia, PA
Background: The Breastfeeding Friendly Philadelphia campaign was part of the Philadelphia Department of Health's Get Healthy Philly initiative, funded through the CDC Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant. This two-year project focused on promoting breast milk as the optimal first food and improving breastfeeding practices in Philadelphia by addressing two key barriers leading to lower breastfeeding rates in the United States: 1) lack of breastfeeding initiation; and 2) inability to sustain breastfeeding.

Methods: The organization created innovative programs that support breastfeeding initiation in hospitals and breastfeeding in workplaces by: 1) Working with hospitals to implement evidence-based breastfeeding friendly policies; and 2) Promoting the extensive breastfeeding support benefits within the business community and helping employers create breastfeeding friendly work sites.

Results: This project exceeded all expectations by assisting five of six Philadelphia birthing hospitals enter the official pathway to Baby Friendly Hospital designation, and helping 12 employers to become Breastfeeding Friendly Employers who now serve as a resource and model for others. This work has the potential to impact the health of 19,000 babies and their mothers each year! The employer program component can potentially benefit 17,609 female employees of childbearing age.

Conclusion: This collaborative approach successfully built a foundation for normalizing breastfeeding and increasing breastfeeding rates so that the health and societal benefits of breastfeeding can be experienced across a large, urban environment. The presentation will discuss key strategies, such as the establishment of a multi-hospital task force, strategic partnerships, promotional events, and a multi-media campaign; and lessons learned.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe at least 3 key strategies for building a foundation for normalizing breastfeeding as a city-wide effort.

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Community Building

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Breastfeeding Coordinator at Maternity Care Coalition and have developed and implemented the city-wide Breastfeeding Friendly Philadelphia campaign as part of Philadelphia’s Get Healthy Philly initiative, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. I hold a Master’s Degree in Education and am a Certified Lactation Counselor and have more than 10 years of experience in the maternal and child health field.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.