U.S. breastfeeding rates are low, due to many factors which include lack of support for breastfeeding women, poor maternity leave policies, industry marketing tactics, clinician lack of knowledge, poor hospital policy, and lack of peer support. The Breastfeeding Center works with other advocates to increase the U.S. breastfeeding rates.

Ban the Bags

"Ban the Bags" logo.  www.banthebags.org.  There is a photo of a hospital gift bag given at discharge with a red line through it.  It looks like a diaper bag.  They want to ban them because hospitals put free samples of formula in them, which promotes brand-name formulas and can insinuate that the hospital promotes formula as the primary infant feeding method.Studies have shown that formula sales campaigns undermine mothers who choose to breastfeed and coax medical professionals to promote expensive brand-name formulas. “Ban the Bags” is a national campaign that works to stop formula companies from marketing in maternity hospitals. This campaign aims to educate consumers on the issue and encourage health care professionals and families to join this effort. The website offers a Tool Kit, which includes educational materials developed by the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition and Ban the Bags, as well as letters of support from regional and national organizations. For more information please visit banthebags.org.

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The BFHI recognizes birthing facilities who implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. In addition, the BFHI helps hospitals equip all mothers with the information, confidence, and skills required to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely. For more information, please visit babyfriendlyusa.org.

Additional Links

American Academy of Pediatrics article on Breastfeeding:

Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition:

The CDC Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies:

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding:

International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA):