March 29, 2019
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, continued breastfeeding for the first year and then for as long as mutually desired by mother and child. Mother’s milk is best for both babies and mothers and offers complete nutrition that cannot be reproduced in formula.
Recently, Pennsylvania provided up to $10,000 in mini-grants, and Hamot Health Foundation partnered with Erie High School to provide breastfeeding education and support through Erie High School Student Parenting Classes for the 2018–2019 school year.
An experienced lactation consultant at Magee-Womens, UPMC Hamot, Katie Landfried, developed an innovative combination of education, peer support, and individual assessment to promote the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding to support its benefits as long as possible. This is especially important in a population where, without education and support, 83 percent of mothers knew “little” or “nothing” about breastfeeding and would have been very unlikely to initiate this healthy practice.
Officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Health noted that this was the best proposal they have seen, and they are looking forward to our reports on the results!