California Breastfeeding Coalition
Up to 100 U.S. hospitals will be eligible for support in improving their maternity care practices for lactation and breastfeeding, thanks to a $6 million cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research (CHEER) at Boston Medical Center.
This funding allows CHEER to expand its Communities and Hospitals Advancing
Maternity Practices (CHAMPS) model across the nation. In addition to improving maternity care practices for breastfeeding, CHAMPS National aims to decrease racial inequities in breastfeeding rates, especially among Black birthing people.
According to a statement announcing the initiative, CHEER reiterated that “U.S. breastfeeding rates are lowest among Black infants, due in large part to institutional racism and lack of evidence-based prenatal and postpartum care. Breastfeeding-supportive maternity practices equitably applied increase hospital breastfeeding rates, especially in populations at the highest risk of not breastfeeding.”
CHAMPS fulfills the requirements set forth in the Hospital Infant Feeding Act, which requires all California perinatal hospitals to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as adopted by Baby-Friendly USA, per the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, or an alternate process adopted by a health care service plan that includes evidence-based policies and practices and targeted outcomes, or the Model Hospital Policy Recommendations by Jan.1, 2025.
CHEER is looking for hospitals interested in participating in CHAMPS National, which begins Sept. 30. For information, email CHAMPSbreastfeed@gmail.com