Online Program

City-wide Policy Changes That Facilitate Breastfeeding Success

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Katja Pigur, MEd, CLC, Maternity Care Coalition, Philadelphia, PA

Historically, Philadelphia’s breastfeeding initiation and duration rates have always been very low compared to State and National levels. In 1997, Philadelphia became the first US city to legally protect a woman's right to breastfeed in public. This was an important step to support breastfeeding families, but more significant efforts were needed for improved breastfeeding and infant health outcomes.


Breastfeeding advocacy efforts intensified in Philadelphia by launching the Breastfeeding Friendly Philadelphia campaign as a part of Philadelphia Department of Health’s Get Healthy Philly initiative. The community-based organization created an innovative program that supports breastfeeding in workplaces by promoting city-wide the extensive breastfeeding support benefits within the business community  and helping employers create breastfeeding friendly work sites.


Other advocacy organizations and city officials joined the breastfeeding movement leading to the Worksite Lactation Support Policy for City of Philadelphia employees, issued in 2011. Recently, Breastfeeding Accommodation Bill No. 130922, mandating workplace breastfeeding support for all (non-exempt/exempt) nursing employees in the city of Philadelphia, was passed.


This collaborative and systematic approach successfully added essential job protections for working mothers and their families. This legislation not only protects their right to express breast milk in an appropriate and safe environment, but more importantly supports mothers in achieving their breastfeeding goals so that the health and societal benefits of breastfeeding can be experienced across a large, urban environment. The poster will outline the advocacy efforts and activities that eventually lead to the signage of the Breastfeeding Accommodation Bill No. 130922.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe key strategies that lead to successful advocacy results. Discuss the role of policy in facilitating successful breastfeeding.

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Katja Pigur, MEd, CLC is the Breastfeeding Director at Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia. She has developed and implemented the city-wide Breastfeeding Friendly Philadelphia program. Under this program, she has been assisting employers and Philadelphia birthing hospitals with the implementation of breastfeeding friendly policies and practices. Since 2012, Ms. Pigur has been co-facilitating the Philadelphia Multi-Hospital Breastfeeding Promotion Task Force and served as a faculty member for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Philadelphia MotherBaby Summits.
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.