ASTHO Breastfeeding Learning Community: 2014 - 2018

ASTHO, with CDC’s support, worked with health agencies from 18 states and the District of Columbia to increase breastfeeding through a virtual learning community focused on 1) increasing practices supportive of breastfeeding in birthing facilities; 2) improving access to professional and peer support for breastfeeding; and 3) ensuring workplace compliance with the federal lactation accommodation law. The state teams partnered across maternal child health, chronic disease, WIC, and state breastfeeding coalitions to implement best practices and evidence-based policies to improve breastfeeding promotion and support.

Year One Project Summary » 

Year Three Project Summary »

Year Four Innovations Summary »

Participating States

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

State Initiatives to Improve Breastfeeding Promotion and Support

This clickable map contains descriptions of ASTHO-supported state activities to improve breastfeeding and highlights of their work. See map »

State Breastfeeding Initiatives Map

Advancing Breastfeeding Promotion and Support in States Toolkit

Advancing Breastfeeding Promotion and Support in States ToolkitThis toolkit is a compilation of state highlights resources developed by learning community states, and lessons learned from states within the three strategy areas of the Learning Community. This toolkit aims to provide ideas and resources to assist states in implementing similar approaches to breastfeeding promotion.

Learning Community Call Recordings and Presentations

In Charting the Course Together, the second webinar in a 4-part Breastfeeding Public Health Partners Webinar Series, ASTHO's Maternal and Child Health Team and Louisiana Department of Health discuss how public health organizations contribute to advance breastfeeding initiation and duration rates by working together with hospitals. Visit the Breastfeeding Public Health Partners – Charting the Course Together Webinar Series page to view upcoming webinars and/or archived webinars. 

To facilitate learning across states, ASTHO is leveraging the breastfeeding learning community network to connect state partners in similar roles and share successful examples of breastfeeding promotion and support. The calls have featured presentations from a variety of states and national experts. The presentation portions of the call recordings are available below:

  • ASTHO Breastfeeding Learning Community Year 1
    • Learning Session #1 (December 1, 2014) features three states' approaches to increase breastfeeding friendly hospitals in Iowa, expand breastfeeding support among low-income women of color in New York, and develop an infant-friendly worksite designation program in North Dakota. The United States Breastfeeding Committee also discusses how a state breastfeeding coalition can effectively partner with their state health agency. 
    • Learning Session #2 (February 11, 2015) features a presentation from Connecticut describing their comprehensive, cost-effective approach to support breastfeeding, shares resources and tips for success to support work across the three learning community topic areas. Participating states were also able to separate into smaller groups to discuss Hospital Maternity Practices and Peer & Professional/Workplace Support. 
    • Learning Community TA Call: Supporting Breastfeeding in the Workplace (February 20, 2015) features a dynamic presentation from CDC about the requirements and application of the federal lactation accommodation law and enforcement, as well as an overview of CDC’s recommended strategies to support breastfeeding in the workplace. New Mexico and Vermont also provide an overview of their project aims and strategies to improve workplace support for this project.
    • Learning Session #3 (March 31, 2015) features a presentation from NACCHO about how they are reaching out to local communities to increase breastfeeding among minorities and underserved populations. Texas also provides an overview of their initiative to increase workplace support through policy implementation and a comprehensive employer resource guide.     
    • Learning Session #4 (May 19, 2015) features a presentation from the Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, Karyl Rattay, the past chair of the state breastfeeding coalition, and state health department staff on breastfeeding support across the agency and key partnerships including lessons learned from working with the coalition. A selection of states (AL, DC, IL, LA, ND, VT) also presented successes they have achieve through this project that they aim to sustain and spread moving forward [access slide deck]. 
  • ASTHO Breastfeeding Learning Community Year 2
    • Learning Session #1 (Year 2: September 10, 2015) features state successes, experiences, challenges, outcomes, and lessons learned from year 1 of the Learning community as well as a kick off of the second year of the learning community. CDC provides an update on strategies for increasing breastfeeding. The USBC presents on Health Equity in Breastfeeding promotion and support [access slide deck].
    • Learning Session #2 (Year 2: December 1, 2015) features a presentation from Oklahoma and Louisiana on breastfeeding coalition partnerships as well as an Ohio presentation on engaging hospital associations in breastfeeding initiatives. Breastfeeding State teams presented updates on key action steps taken since the September Learning Session [access slide deck]. 
    • Learning Session #3 (Year 2: March 1, 2016) features a presentation from New Mexico on workplace support and a presentation from the District of Columbia on peer and professional support. Breastfeeding State teams presented updates on key action steps taken since the December Learning Session [access slide deck].
    • Learning Session #4 (Year 2: May 3, 2016) features a presentation from Atyya Chaudhry and Megan Phillippi from the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP)  on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Breastfeeding Support. States also presented their successes to round out the second year of the breastfeeding learning community [access slide deck].
  • ASTHO Breastfeeding Learning Community Year 3
    • Learning Session #1 (Year 3: October 4, 2016) features a presentation from the United Health Foundation on America’s Health Rankings Health of Women and Children Report. The presentation highlights findings from the reports, and examines breastfeeding specific measures [access slide deck].
    • Learning Session #2 (Year 3: December 6, 2016) features a presentation from Dr. Marion Rice and Dr. Naomi Bar-Yam on the future of milk banking in the United States. The presentation highlights the history of milk banking, Human Milk Banking Association of North America's (HMBANA) role in providing safe human milk, and existing and emerging public policy related to banked human milk [access slide deck].
    • Learning Session #3 (Year 3: March 2, 2017) features a presentation from Dr. Naomi K. Tepper, Dr. Alison Stuebe, and Dr. Amy Bryant on the Safety of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception among breastfeeding women. The presentation highlights the importance of breastfeeding and immediate postpartum contraception. It also provides recommendations for different types of contraception methods and related complications. Dr. Stuebe and Dr. Bryant discuss the ethical considerations of advocacy and clinical care including shared decision making and decision support.
    • Learning Session #4 (Year 3: May 16, 2017) features a presentation from Lindsey Dermid-Gray on tele-lactation successes and lessons learned in Nevada. The presentation describes the features of the PACIFY Smartphone App that was utilized in WIC clinics in the state of Nevada.
  • ASTHO Breastfeeding Learning Community Year 4
    • Learning Session #1 (Year 4: November 2, 2017) features a presentation from Bonny Whalen, MD, on innovative, baby-centered treatment approaches for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The presentation describes approaches including rooming-in, low-stimuli environments, swaddling, and, breastfeeding.
    • Learning Session #2 (Year 4: February 8, 2018) features a presentation by Susan Gutierrez on improving care by partnering with Perinatal Collaboratives. The presentation highlights the importance of partnering with state perinatal collaborative to improve breastfeeding rates. Kelly Vrablic (IL) and Ryan C. Everett (OH) also provide an overview of innovative project aims and strategies to improve breastfeeding rates in their states [access slide deck].
    • Learning Session #3 (Year 4: April 10, 2018) features a presentation by Reaching Our Brothers Everywhere and Healthy Arkansans Active initiative on breastfeeding support. The presentations describes key strategies implemented in the both the Initiatives. It also highlights unique practices to engage fathers in breastfeeding support and how partnerships can be leveraged to promote breastfeeding.
    • Learning Session #4 (Year 4: May 22, 2018) features presentations by NACCHO and USBC on breastfeeding promotion, breastfeeding legislation, and how to achieve equity in breastfeeding support services and practices. The webinar also features presentations by 5 states, on innovative projects aimed at improving breastfeeding rates in states [access slide deck].