Equity in Breastfeeding Support Helps to Ensure Health Equity

It is sadly a fact that in America, only the financially well-off are able to access the type of breastfeeding support that is needed and deserved by all mothers in their important work of breastfeeding. This inequity of breastfeeding support means that our most vulnerable mothers and children who desperately need the many benefits and protections of breastfeeding are the least likely to receive it! This lack of breastfeeding support causes other health inequities which lead to a continued state of impoverishment due to ill health.

 

These inequities of breastfeeding support come in many forms:

  • Lack of health care coverage, paid leave, vacation and sick days from part-time work in marginal employment

  • Poverty and lack of resources

  • Focus on medical OB care and too little client focused health education for healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • Too few Lactation Professionals in impoverished communities

  • Lack of Lactation Professionals of the various racial and cultural types to serve in their respective communities

  • Lack of Lactation Professional funding to get more breastfeeding supporters trained and certified

  • Lack of breastfeeding support education among health care professionals, especially in maternal/child care

  • Over-medicalized births causing a bad start to breastfeeding coupled with lack of breastfeeding support needed

  • Single parenthood, lack of family support and breastfeeding success role models