On August 6, 2011, the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) declared August as National Breastfeeding Month. The USBC was formed in 1998 as an independent nonprofit organization. Their mission is to “drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States.” This year’s theme “Many Voices United” is an effort to come together to identify and promote policy and system changes to support breastfeeding.
The USBC is a national effort to promote breastfeeding, here in the state of Indiana the Indiana Breastfeeding Alliance (IBA) was formed in 2018. The goal of the committee is to work with several partnerships to ensure all Hoosier moms and babies are able to give or receive human milk for as long as mutually desired and to implement the State Breastfeeding Plan. The Labor of Love report, Indiana’s Breastfeeding Plan 2016-2021, from the Indiana State Department of Health is an effort to reduce infant mortality and increase breastfeeding rates across the state.
The plan shows the benefits of breastfeeding for not only the infant but the mother as well. For infants, the benefits include a decreased chance of acquiring: gastro-intestinal infection; ear infections; acute myelogenous leukemia; childhood asthma; atopic dermatitis; acute lymphocytic leukemia; as well as a decreased risk of hospitalization due to lower respiratory tract diseases. Breastfed children continue to benefit from breast milk later in life with a reduced risk of being obese, developing type 2 diabetes, and having high blood pressure. For mothers, studies have shown an association between breastfeeding and a reduction in the risk of: post-partum depression; breast cancer; ovarian cancer; type 2 diabetes (among women without a history of gestational diabetes); cardiovascular disease; and rheumatoid arthritis.
The state of Indiana supports your decision to breastfeed. Ind. Code § 16-35-6 allows a woman to breastfeed her child anywhere the law allows her to be. (HB 1510). Ind. Code § 5-10-6-2 and § 22-2-14-2 provide that state and political subdivisions shall provide for reasonable paid breaks for an employee to express breast milk for her infant, make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express breast milk in private and make reasonable efforts to provide for a refrigerator to keep breast milk that has been expressed. The law also provides that employers with more than 25 employees must provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express the employee’s breast milk in private and if possible to provide a refrigerator for storing breast milk that has been expressed.
If you want to learn more on how you can support breastfeeding in our community, please visit these resources.
Breastfeeding Resources in Indiana
- Indiana WIC
- Indiana State Breastfeeding Coalition
- Indy Breastfeeding Moms
- La Leche League of Indiana
- Indiana Mother’s Milk Bank
- Indiana Model Hospital Breastfeeding Policy
- LactMed – database containing information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed.
Resources from LPCPL: