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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 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.

Breastfeeding in Philadelphia

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, the City of Philadelphia issued a Worksite Lactation Support Policy for City of Philadelphia employees.

In 2014, the City of Philadelphia issued an ordinance mandating that employers provide breastfeeding employees a private, sanitary space and the necessary time to express breast milk.

Four Philadelphia hospitals have been designated as "Baby Friendly" and "Keystone 10" facilities: Pennsylvania Hospital, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. In addition, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has been designated as a Keystone 10 Facility.

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 distribute original education materials that promote breastfeeding.

  • We participate in breastfeeding advocacy coalitions, organizations of lactation professionals 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)

Free, In-Person Breastfeeding Help

Certified, experienced breastfeeding coaches provide free, in-person help at City health centers and other contracted agencies.


My Breastfeeding Plan (brochure)

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


National Office on Women’s Health Helpline: 1-800-994-9662

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

Other Resources

Maternity Care Coalition

National Office on Women’s Health

Philadelphia WIC Offices

Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

Centers for Disease Control

Keystone 10 Initiative
(PA Department of Health quality improvement breastfeeding initiative)

La Leche League

Nursing Mother's Advisory Council

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