Illinois Breastfeeding Blueprint

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Illinois moms want to breastfeed, but breastfeeding rates in Illinois are below the norm, particularly among African-American women. The Illinois Breastfeeding Blueprint recommends action steps for hospitals, insurance companies, workplaces, families and communities to better support breastfeeding. HealthConnect One, the Illinois Department of Human Services' Title V Maternal and Child Health Program, and the UIC School of Public Health came together and first looked at the data, as data drives policy change. We started with statewide data on breastfeeding rates and disparities, and hospital maternity care practices. We then held five forums in the Chicago area for parents, peer counselors, nurses, nutritionists, dieticians, lactation consultants and counselors, physicians, and other breastfeeding advocates. The Blueprint recommendations flowed from the numbers and the voices of the stakeholders, and is intended as a strategic plan for the next 5 years.

Text of Illinois Breastfeeding Blueprint


    A P L A N F O R C H A N G E

    A collaboration of

    HealthConnect One,

    the Illinois Department of

    Human Services and

    the University of Illinois

    School of Public Health

  • Table of Contents

    Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

    Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

    Evidence Base for Breastfeeding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    Illinois Breastfeeding Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32


    A P L A N F O R C H A N G E

    IntroductionBreastfeeding is a critical resource for health that exists in all communities. It may be the mostimportant choice a mother can make when her baby is born. But in many urbanneighborhoods and rural areas in Illinois, breastfeeding is far from the norm. Though Illinoisbreastfeeding rates have increased, our progress is incomplete. There are significant differencesin breastfeeding rates between low-income and higher-income families, and between racial andethnic groups. In short, some mothers have the information and support to choose tobreastfeed their babies, and some do not. Breastfeeding is an uncommon choice in many ofthe communities that need it the most those where the rates of obesity and chronic diseaseare the highest.

    In 2008, a group of collaborators began an initiative to increasebreastfeeding rates and decrease disparities in Illinois.HealthConnect One, the Illinois Department of HumanServices (Title V Maternal and Child Health and WICPrograms), and the University of Illinois School of PublicHealth committed to a multi-year effort to plan for strategicchange in the way we support breastfeeding in Illinois.

    First, we looked at the data, as data drives policy change. We started with an analysis of themost recent statewide data on breastfeeding rates and disparities, and looked as well at data onhospital maternity care practices. At the same time, we reached out to a diverse group ofstakeholders. We held five forums in the Chicago area for parents, peer counselors, nurses,nutritionists, dieticians, lactation consultants and counselors, physicians, and otherbreastfeeding advocates. We asked them two questions: what do you think are the barriers toincreasing breastfeeding rates in Illinois; and what would be your priority actions for improvingsupport for breastfeeding? The themes that emerged from those forums echoed the story toldby the qualitative data. The recommendations for the Illinois Breastfeeding Blueprint flowedboth from the numbers and the voices of the stakeholders.

    This document is the result of an unprecedented process involving dozens of people thatdeveloped a plan for change for breastfeeding in Illinois. The efforts of a formidable ExpertPanel and an inclusive Implementation Work Group have already begun the process of makingthat vision a reality. The recommendations here are intended as a strategic plan for the nextfive years.

    In a time when resources are shrinking, when the costs of health care are overwhelming oureconomy, and when the status of mothers and babies is declining, we cannot waste any time inmaking sure that every mother has the support to choose breastfeeding for love, for health,and for the future of our next generations.

  • Acknowledgements


    Blueprint TeamRachel Abramson, RN, MS, IBCLCExecutive DirectorHealthConnect One

    Amanda C. Bennett, MPHResearch Specialist University of Illinois at Chicago

    Brenda Matthews, MS, RD, LDN, CLCState Breastfeeding CoordinatorIllinois Department of Human Services

    Beth Pellettieri, MPHProject ManagerHealthConnect One

    Brenda Reyes, CLCTrainerHealthConnect One

    Deborah Rosenberg, PhDResearch Associate ProfessorUniversity of Illinois at Chicago

    Glendean M. Sisk, RN, BSN, CRADC, MPHActing Associate Director, Reproductive & Early

    Childhood ServicesIllinois Department of Human Services

    Myrtis Sullivan, MD, MPH, FAAPPediatric Consultant

    Additional AcknowledgementsHelen Dimas, CLC, LSPTrainerHealthConnect One

    Lawon Tidwell, BAConsultantNot for Profit Management

    Judith V. SayadUniversity of Illinois at Chicago

    Sadie K. Wych, BAUniversity of Illinois at Chicago & HealthConnect One

    And many thanks to the Regional BreastfeedingTask Forces.

    Expert PanelDamon T. Arnold, MD, MPHDirectorIllinois Department of Public Health

    Harold R. Bigger, MDAssistant ProfessorRush University Medical Center

    Noel Chavez, PhD, RD, LDNAssociate ProfessorUniversity of Illinois at Chicago

    Robyn Gabel, MSPH, MJState Representative, Illinois, 18th District

    Charlotte Johnson. RNC, MS, IBCLCOutreach Educator/Breastfeeding CoordinatorStroger Hospital Perinatal Center

    Lesley Kennedy, MAMotherMcCormick Foundation

    Victoria Nichols-Johnson, MDProfessor Emerita of Obstetrics/GynecologySouthern Illinois University School of Medicine

    Maura Quinlan, MD, MPHVice-ChairIllinois Section of the American College of

    Obstetricians and Gynecologists

    Krystal Revai, MD, MPHIllinois Chapter, American Academy of PediatricsUniversity of Illinois at Chicago

    Penny Roth, MS, RD, LDNActing Chief, Bureau of Family Nutrition Illinois Department of Human Services

    Deborah Saunders, MSWBureau Chief, Maternal and Child Health Promotion Department of Healthcare and Family Services

    Belinda Sayadian, IBCLC, RLCBreastfeeding Program CoordinatorUIC-Mile Square Health Center

  • 3Implementation Working GroupKaren Ayala, MPHRepresentativeIllinois Public Health Association

    Elissa J. Bassler, MFAChief Executive Officer Illinois Public Health Institute

    Adam B. Becker, PhD, MPHExecutive DirectorConsortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children

    Ann Borders, MD, MSc, MPHAssistant ProfessorNorthwestern University Feinberg School

    of Medicine

    Diana CordonMother & Peer Counselor

    Eulah H. Dean, LDN, CLCBreastfeeding CoordinatorChicago Department of Public Health

    Mary Elsner, JDDirector, Obesity Prevention Initiatives Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

    Ann Garmon, MS, RD, LDN, IBCLCWIC Nutritionist/Breastfeeding CoordinatorMcHenry County Health Department

    Brenda Green, MS, RD, LDN, CLCRegional Nutritionist ConsultantIllinois Department of Human Services

    Grace HouAssistant SecretaryIllinois Department of Human Services

    Dee Kassing, BS, MLS, IBCLCLactation ConsultantSecretary and Conference ChairEdwardsville Region Breastfeeding Task Force

    Susan Knight, MA, LCSWDirector, Program Services and Public AffairsIllinois Chapter at March of Dimes

    Janine Lewis, MPH, PhD(c)Executive DirectorIllinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition

    Agatha Lowe, PhDAssistant CommissionerWomen and Childrens Health Programs Chicago Department of Public Health

    Virginia Martinez, JDLegislative Staff AttorneyMexican American Legal Defense and

    Educational Fund

    Gina Massuda-Barnett, MPH Director, Chronic Disease Prevention &

    Health PromotionCook County Department of Public Health

    Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA Vice-Chair, Chicago Area Breastfeeding CoalitionCo-Chair, Leadership Team, Mothers Milk Bank of

    the Western Great Lakes

    Barbara OConnor, RN, BSN, ANLC, IBCLCThe Center for Breastfeeding

    Linnea ONeill, RN MPHDirector, Clinical ServicesMetropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council

    Rev. Gregory T. Posely, Sr.Pastor & FatherZion Hill Church

    Carin B. Richter, MS, RN, APN-BC, IBLCE, CCBEMaternal/Child Clinical Nurse Specialist OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center

    Dedra Ries, MPHAssistant Director, Chronic Disease Prevention &

    Health Promotion Cook County Department of Public Health

    Rose Straeter, BS, IBCLCBreastfeeding Peer CounselorMarion County Health Department La Leche League Leader

    Janet Tolley RNc, BAN, IBCLC, CD, PCD(DONA)Lactation and Doula Program FacilitatorSt. John's Hospital

    Lorna Utley, RN, BSN, IBCLCOB Nurse Educator, L&D & M/BSwedish American Hospital

    Lise Weisberger, MDHealthy Steps Medical DirectorUniversity of Illinois/Advocate Illinois Masonic

    Medical Center Family Medicine Residency

    Charlene Wells, RN, BS Office of Health PromotionIllinois Department of Public Health






  • Evidence Base for Breastfeeding


    This Call to Action follows a decade of increasing

    attention to exclusive breastfeeding. In 2000, the

    Surgeon General issued its Blueprint for Action,

    which reviewed the standing evidence in support of

    breastfeeding. The Blueprint for Action stated that

    breastfeeding is the best method of feeding

    newborns, beneficial for the health of the baby and

    the mother, and it outlined actions that the health

    care system, workplaces, families and communities

    can take to make breastfeeding easier and more


    Following the Blueprint for Action, many

    organizations in the United States and abroad made

    similar statements and recommendations. In 2005,

    the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed

    exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life,

    stating that breastfeeding ensures the best possible

    health and development outcomes for infants, that

    many benefits extend throughout childhood, and

    that some may even continue into adulthood.

    During the same decade, the Centers for Disease

    Control and Prevention (CDC) made breastfeeding

    one of the n