Breastfeeding is more than a lifestyle choice - it is an important health choice. As a mother, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby is to breastfeed.
Human milk is food and protection from disease for mothers and babies. The US Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that babies be fed with only human milk for the first six months of life.
Breastfeeding should continue with the gradual introduction of solid foods for at least the first year of life, and then for as long as mother and baby find the relationship rewarding.
Philadelphia is a longtime national leader in supporting the rights of breastfeeding mothers:
In 1997, Philadelphia became the first US city to legally protect a woman's right to breastfeed outside her home.
In 2011, Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued a Worksite Lactation Support Policy for City of Philadelphia employees.
In 2014, Mayor Nutter signed an ordinance mandating that employers provide breastfeeding employees a private, sanitary space and the necessary time to express breast milk.
- We provide support for nursing mothers as well as education, training and support for healthcare professionals in Philadelphia who work with pregnant or nursing mothers.
- We maintain a comprehensive breastfeeding handbook for providers and develop and distribute original education materials that promote breastfeeding.
- We work closely with Philadelphia's business community to build support for corporate lactation programs, and participate in breastfeeding advocacy coalitions and task forces.
- We sponsor two breastfeeding courses:
- a 3-day (20-hour) interdisciplinary breastfeeding management course
- a 9-week "breastfeeding basics" course for community workers (three hours per week)
Breastfeeding Help in Philadelphia
Free, in-person breastfeeding support is provided by a variety of health, social service, and community-based agencies in Philadelphia.
My Breastfeeding Plan (brochure)
National Office on Women’s Health Helpline: 1-800-994-9662
PA Department of Health ‘Healthy Baby Line’: 1-800-986-BABY (2229)
National Library of Medicine Drug Database
(learn about drugs and other chemicals that can affect a nursing infant)