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Maternal, Child & Family Health

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Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding is more than a lifestyle choice - it is an important health choice. As a mother, one of the best things that you can do for your baby is to breastfeed.

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, and for breastfeeding to continue with the gradual introduction of solid foods for at least the first year of life.

Breastfeeding should continue for as long as mother and baby find the relationship rewarding.

Human milk is food and protection from disease for mothers and babies. Research shows that women who do not breastfeed are more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

The more and longer a woman breastfeeds, the lower her risk for these diseases. Babies who are not breastfed are more likely to develop diabetes, obesity, leukemia and lymphomas, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

In June 1997, Philadelphia became the first city in the United States to legally protect a woman's right to breastfeed outside her home. In August 2011, Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued a Worksite Lactation Support Policy for City of Philadelphia employees.

Support Services
  • 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:
  1. a 3-day (20-hour) interdisciplinary breastfeeding management course
  2. a 9-week "breastfeeding basics" course for community workers (three hours per week)


Why Breastfeed? Just Listen to What Mothers Say! (flyer)

Philadelphia Breastfeeding Resource Guide 2012

Interdisciplinary Breastfeeding Management Course

Breastfeeding and Returning to Work


National Breastfeeding Hotline: 1-800-994-9662

PA Department of Health ‘Healthy Baby Line’: 1-800-986-2229


Centers for Disease Control

La Leche League

National Library of Medicine Drug Database
(learn about drugs and other chemicals that can affect a nursing infant)

Nursing Mother's Advisory Council