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!
We demand that you take a stand for healthier babies and healthier moms in your state.