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. To better understand the reasons for the low rates of initiation, we conducted surveys to assess barriers to breastfeeding among women in New Orleans. One major finding was that women felt a lack of discussion and social support for breastfeeding.
To address this, the Mary Amelia Center, in partnership with the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition and the Office of Public Health, launched a media campaign to: 1) empower women to consider breastfeeding and 2) provide an online support group for breastfeeding mothers. Posters, table toppers and information cards are displayed in prenatal provider offices and WIC clinics throughout New Orleans; to not only encourage women to consider breastfeeding, but to also act as a conversation starter about breastfeeding among pregnant women, their doctors and their families. To provide encouragement and support, we created a Facebook page to provide breastfeeding facts, tips, and support for New Orleans families. Visit our Facebook page to join the conversation and offer support to help transform New Orleans into a community that supports breastfeeding moms.