The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program helps fund critical initiatives to support breastfeeding families. Organizations are invited to sign on to a letter encouraging members of Congress to support this key funding. Please note: this sign-on form is for organizations only.
Signers will be added on an ongoing basis. Please see the list of current signers at the bottom of this page.
The letter will be delivered electronically to members of Congress during key moments in the federal budget negotiation process.
By completing the form below, you are indicating that you have permission (and/or authority) from the organization to sign on to this letter. Please direct questions to email@example.com.
Dear Members of Congress,
We, the XX undersigned organizations, urge you to direct $20M to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding line item in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, $10.5M above the President’s budget level.
The CDC, our nation’s leading health protection agency, has been at the forefront of the pandemic response, providing vital updates and guidance to health professionals and the public. As we continue to grapple with COVID-19 and its variants, recovery efforts must adapt to a population experiencing substantially higher stress levels, inactivity, and an ever-expanding obesity epidemic. Research shows that there have been significant increases in childhood overweight, and the majority of adults report undesired weight changes over the last year. While the coronavirus death toll continues to rise, chronic disease remains the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. Chronic disease management results in trillions of dollars in annual health care costs, and more than 1.7 million people die each year. The behavioral drivers of chronic disease—poor nutrition, inactive lifestyle, excessive drinking, and tobacco use—increased during the pandemic, suggesting that COVID-19 will exacerbate negative health status trends for years to come.
Ongoing response and recovery efforts will require a comprehensive approach to addressing the dual health crises of COVID-19 and chronic disease. Within CDC, the Division of Nutrition Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO) works to prevent chronic disease by promoting good nutrition across the lifespan, regular physical activity, and a healthy weight. Good nutrition and healthy weight begin with breastfeeding. DNPAO’s effort to support states, territories, tribal nations, hospitals, and communities in advancing breastfeeding continuity of care and in increasing access to breastfeeding-friendly environments are high-value, low-cost public health interventions.
While the President's budget calls for an overall increase in funding for CDC, it includes level funding for the Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding line item. This increased investment in CDC is essential but will not address the substantial gaps in infant feeding support unless accompanied by a simultaneous increase to the Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program.
The evidence for the value of human milk to overall health for infants, children, and mothers is scientific, robust, and continually reaffirmed by new research. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants be exclusively breastfed for about six months with continued breastfeeding while introducing complementary foods for at least one year. Breastfed infants are at lower risk of certain infections and sudden unexplained infant death. Children who were breastfed have decreased risk of obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, and childhood leukemia. Women who breastfed reduce their risk of specific chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and breast and ovarian cancers.
Everyone wants to do what is best for their baby, and most pregnant people and new mothers want to breastfeed. As a nation, we met virtually all the Healthy People 2020 goals related to breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity. We also experienced significant increases in the proportion of employers with worksite lactation support programs and in the proportion of infants born in facilities that have institutionalized maternity care practices that support breastfeeding. We are proud of these wins, yet barriers in healthcare, community, and employment settings continue to impede breastfeeding success. There are also persistent breastfeeding rate disparities by racial, geographic, and socioeconomic factors.
The pandemic exacerbated matters. COVID-19 revealed fissures in our national capacity to coordinate infant and young child feeding in emergencies, destabilized already fragile maternity care practices that critically underpin breastfeeding initiation, and deepened known disparities. The pandemic and the myriad natural disasters that plagued the country in 2020 demonstrated that our states lack the infrastructure to coordinate lactation support services and the provision of breastfeeding equipment during emergencies. High rates of commercial formula supplementation within the first two days of delivery was a pre-pandemic issue that worsened as birthing facilities instituted infection control policies. Limitations on the number and type of birth supporters; mother-infant dyad separations, even in the absence of suspected COVID-19 infection; and rapid discharge procedures, often with poor access to skilled in-person or virtual lactation support, were all harmful to the initiation and establishment of breastfeeding. Dyad separations unreasonably impacted Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and immigrant communities as evidence suggest an uneven application of the policies based on race and insurance status, with communities of color and those with public insurance being unfairly targeted. Shortages in personal protective equipment and social distancing requirements compromised in-person lactation support services in community settings for everyone. However, people in rural communities and those in economically marginalized urban communities with limited broadband access also lacked access to telehealth lactation support services.
COVID-related maternity care practice shifts unduly compromised the establishment of breastfeeding in Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities, residents of economically distressed urban areas, and people living in rural districts. These same populations experience many other health inequities, including lesser access to nutritious foods and a disproportionate burden of overweight, obesity, and chronic disease. Given the importance of human milk feeding in establishing good nutrition, healthy weight, and in reducing the risk of chronic disease, we urge the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to direct $20M to the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding line item in FY2022, an increase of $10.5M from FY2021.
DNPAO has demonstrated, through funding systems-level interventions in states, and the provision of technical assistance and resources, to have the expertise and the ability to help states and communities implement upstream interventions that support breastfeeding families and positively impact the health of communities. Fully funding the line item will make it possible for DNPAO to:
We recognize these are extraordinary times, which is why an increase in the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding line item is imperative. The American people, especially our babies, are the nation’s most valuable resource. We must invest in their health, vitality, and resilience through systemic interventions that beat back the rising tide of obesity and associated chronic disease. One of DNPAO’s ultimate goals is to improve the public’s health by promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices and increasing breastfeeding rates throughout the U.S.
as of 8/2/2021
2 for baby
A Better Balance
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice
African American Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon
Alabama Breastfeeding Committee
Alaska Breastfeeding Coalition
Albany County Public Health
Alimentacion Segura Infantil
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Nursing
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association of Birth Centers
American Breastfeeding Institute
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians
American Medical Association
Ancient Song Doula Services
API Breastfeeding Task Force
Appalachian Breastfeeding Network
Arizona Breastfeeding Coalition
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Association of State Public Health Nutritionists
Attachment Parenting International
Baby And Me LC
Baby Cafe Bakersfield
Baby Cafe USA
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc.
Baobab Birth Collective
Baylor College of Medicine
Birth and Breastfeeding In Color Inc
Black Breastfeeding Coalition of Topeka
Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association
Bourbon County Health Department WIC program
Branches Lactation and Infant Feeding
Breastfeed Orange NC
Breastfeeding Boosters of Cottonwood, Jackson, and Nobles Counties
Breastfeeding Coalition of Delaware
Breastfeeding Coalition of Palm Beach County
Breastfeeding Coalition of Solano County
Breastfeeding Coalition of Ventura County
Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington
Breastfeeding Family Friendly Communities
Breastfeeding Family Friendly Communities
Bronx Breastfeeding Coalition
Brooke Knows Breast, LLC
CAI (formerly Cicatelli Associates Inc.)
California Breastfeeding Coalition
California WIC Association
Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research, Boston
Center for Women - National Council of Jewish Women Pittsburgh Section
Centro Pediatrico de Lactancia y Crianza
CHI Health Centers
Chicago Region Breastfeeding Taskforce
Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association
Chocolate Milk Cafe National Inc.
Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates, Inc.
Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition
Colorado Lactation Consultant Association
Commonsense Childbirth Inc./National Perinatal Task Force
Community Alliance for Research and Engagement
Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition
Coordinated Youth and Human Services
Cuenta Conmigo Lactancia
DePaul Community Health Centers
District of Columbia Breastfeeding Coalition
DPHSS NCD Consortium Breastfeeding Action Team
East Central Illinois Breastfeeding Task Force
East Side Health District
Edwardsville Region Breastfeeding Task Force
Every Mother, Inc.
Fertile Ground Midwifery, LLC
Florida Breastfeeding Coalition
Florida Department of Health
Florida Lactation Consultant Association
Florida West Coast Breastfeeding Task Force
Flourishing Families Inc.
Harambee Village Doulas
Health Education Associates
Healthy Children Project, Inc.
Healthy Community Action Team
Healthy Horizons Breastfeeding Centers, Inc.
Healthy Nourishment, LLC
Healthy Start of North Central Florida Coalition
Human Milk Banking Association of North America
Indiana Breastfeeding Coalition
Inland Empire Breastfeeding Coalition
Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding and Lactation Education
International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners
International Childbirth Education Association
International Lactation Consultant Association
Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
La Leche League Alliance
La Leche League of the United States of America, Inc.
Lactation Associates of Montana
Lactation Concierge Services LLC
Lactation Education Approval and Accreditation Review Committee
Lactation Education Resources
Lactation Improvement Coalition of Kentucky
Lake Norman Breastfeeding Solutions
Lioness Lactation LLC
LoLo Lactation LLC
Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition
Love and Nourish Lactation Services
Lovelace Women's Hospital
Maine State Breastfeeding Coalition
Marion County Health Department
Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition
Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition
Maternity Care Coalition
Metro Detroit/ Wayne County Breastfeeding Coalition
Metro Nashville Public Health Department
Michigan Breastfeeding Network
Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition
Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition
More Than Reflexes Education
Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast
Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas
Mother's Own Milk Matters
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Birth Equity Collaborative
National Healthy Start Association
National Lactation Consultant Alliance
National WIC AssociationNebraska Breastfeeding Coalition
New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force
New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition
New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force
New York City Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
New York Lactation Consultant Association
New York Statewide Breastfeeding Coalition
North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition
North Dakota Breastfeeding Coalition
Northern Nevada Breastfeeding Coalition
Nourishing New Families
Nusing Mothers Counsel
NYC Breastfeeding Leadership Council, Inc.
Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance
Oya Birth and Wellness
Parkland Health & Hospital System
Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition
Perinatal Health Equity Foundation
Piece of My Heart Productions
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Breastfeeding Coalition
Precious Jewels Moms Ministries
Pretty Mama Breastfeeding LLC
Project Milk Mission
Purdue University School of Nursing
Rainbow Nutrition NW
Raise Colorado Coalition
Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, Inc
Rock Island County Health Department
Sacramento Breastfeeding Coalition
Saginaw County Health Department
Saline County (MO) Breastfeeding Coalition
San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition
Shades of Blue Project
Solutions for Breastfeeding
Somerville/Cambridge WIC program
Sonder Health, Inc.
South Bay Baby Care Nursing Services, Inc.
South Lake Lactation and Childbirth Services, Inc.
Southeast Michigan IBCLC's of Color
Southern Nevada Breastfeeding Coalition
Southwest Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition
Speaking of Birth
St Charles Hospital
Tampa Bay Breastfeeding Task Force
Texoma Medical Center
The Bronx Health Link
The Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding and Lactation Education
The Milky Mermaid LLC
The Mother's Helper
Trust for America's Health
U.S. Breastfeeding Committee
United States Lactation Consultant Association
Virginia Breastfeeding Advisory Committee
Virginia Breastfeeding Coalition
WellSpan York Hospital
West Virginia Breastfeeding Alliance
Wildflower Services & Consulting, LLC
Wisconsin Association of Lactation Consultants
Wisconsin Breastfeeding Coalition
Women, Infants and Children, Central Virginia Department of Health
Women, Infants, Children Program, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota
Women-Inspired Systems' Enrichment
Wonderlove Lactation Services
The final version of the letter will be uploaded to this link: http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/d/do/3950
Please direct questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.