Breastfeeding is an effective, low cost intervention for improving health outcomes in women and children. Compared to other states, Louisiana has a low percentage of women initiating breastfeeding (60.6%), and breastfeeding rates among African Americans are about 50% lower than among Caucasians.
In January 2014, the Mary Amelia Center, with the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition and the Office of Public Health, will launch a media campaign to: 1) empower women to consider breastfeeding and 2) provide an online support group for breastfeeding mothers. The campaign will be launched in obstetrician offices and WIC clinics throughout New Orleans. We conducted surveys to assess barriers to breastfeeding among women in New Orleans, and one major finding was that women felt a lack of discussion and social support for breastfeeding. With a creative and eye-catching campaign targeted to pregnant women, we hope to increase breastfeeding initiation within African American communities and beyond.