Studies prove that breast milk is the optimal first food for babies and has been proven to reduce the risk of asthma, upper respiratory infections, ear infections and childhood obesity. Yet, placing the burden of responsibility solely on women is unfair and unrealistic. A woman should have more support beyond her own personal resolve to give her infant the best first food possible. And while recent efforts to level the playing field in hospitals are critically important, if a woman returns home after a short hospital stay to a community that is not supportive, she is still less likely to be successful at breastfeeding. It is time for communities to become stakeholders in the health of their youngest and most vulnerable residents. It is time for every community to be First Food Friendly—a place where all babies thrive and all mothers are fully supported. A recent pilot project, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, identified New Orleans, LA, Birmingham, AL and Jackson, MS as "first food deserts"--areas with virtually no easily accessible support for mothers who choose to breastfeed. We are asking Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to take immediate action to transform these communities to first food friendly environments where all mothers and babies thrive!
- Governors of Lousiana, Mississippi and Alabama
- Alabama Governor
A recent pilot project conducted a comprehensive community assessment in New Orleans, Birmingham, AL and Jackson, MS and found these cities to have "desert-like" conditions for mothers who choose to breastfeed. The striking "lacks" include: no easily accessible breastfeeding support groups, a high level of physicians offering no referrals for lactation consultants, high infant formula supplementation rates at the hospitals, minimal culturally competent lactation consultants and low numbers of child care facilities properly handling human milk. Mothers in your state should not have to only rely on their own sheer will and determination to give their baby the optimal nutrition for infants. Particulary since increased breastfeeding has been proven to save millions in healthcare costs and you should have an earnest commitment to the health of your youngest residents. We are asking you to meet immediately with your state coalition leaders (as represented by the United States Breastfeeding Committee) to address immediate steps to rectify these unfair and health-threatening conditions in your communities. We ask you to immediately sign a First Food Friendly pledge for your state which will include three to four community-based specifics including: educating and training small to mid-size employers on the Break Time for Nursing Mothers federal law, supporting more hospitals to recieve Baby Friendly certification, and increasing the presence of suitable lactation rooms in public places.
We demand that you take a stand for healthier babies and healthier moms in your state.
Kimberly Seals Allers started this petition with a single signature, and now has 145 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.