Objectives of Designation:
-There are four cities currently with the BFFC Designation: Carrboro, NC/ Chapel Hill, NC/ Durham, NC
Why it matters: St. Joseph County has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the state and it is higher than the national rate. A significant percentage of the IMR in the county can be reduced with breastfeeding as it reduces the risk of SIDS and respiratory infections in infants.
Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)
St. Joseph County 7.5 deaths/ 1,000 births
-IMR for black infants is 4 times the rate for white infants
Indiana 7.2 deaths/ 1,000 births
U.S. 5.9 deaths/ 1,000 births
-IMR for black infants is 2.5 times the rate for white infants
How are Moms currently affected:
While our breastfeeding initiation rates are relatively good there is a significant drop off when a Mom returns to work. Reasons vary from:
Breastmilk is dose-dependent, meaning the longer one breastfeeds the more benefits one has for both Mom and baby.
With this in mind we want to provide education as to why breastfeeding is so important and explain to those unware that it is an option. We acknowledge that breastfeeding is not “one-size fits all”. The opportunity to plant the seed that it can be tailored to a family is critical increasing our breastfeeding duration rates particularly with our Black Mothers. “If you don’t know all of your choices, you don’t have any.” We have the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative currently at Memorial and SJRM that provides an insulated, accepting Breastfeeding environment to Mom and baby. The BFFC Designation would extend that layer of support out into the community.