With a goal of increasing initiation and duration rates of breastfeeding throughout the state, 8 local breastfeeding coalitions in Kansas have received funding totaling approximately $5,000 through the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition’s Mini-Grant initiative.
Local breastfeeding coalitions receiving funding include:
Breastfeeding Advocates of Cowley County
Franklin County Breastfeeding Coalition
Ford County Breastfeeding Coalition
Leavenworth County Breastfeeding Coalition
McPherson County Breastfeeding Coalition
Mitchell County Breastfeeding Coalition
Southeast Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
Wyandotte County Breastfeeding Coalition
Breastfeeding provides immediate and lifelong nutrition and health benefits for mother and child, as well as larger economic, environmental and social benefits to families and communities. It is estimated suboptimal breastfeeding rates are costing Kansas $26 million each year in medical costs alone.
“While “breast is best” for lifelong health, it is also excellent economics. Breastfeeding is a child’s first inoculation against death, disease, and poverty, but also their most enduring investment in physical, cognitive, and social capacity.” says Keith Hanson of the World Bank. Yet, Kansas ranks 37th in the nation for rates of mothers who breastfeed during a child’s first six months.
“Breastfeeding at the earliest stages of life has been shown to have a lifetime of positive results,” said Brenda Moffitt, Chair of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition Board of Directors. “Over 88% of families choose to breastfeed, at least at the beginning. Working with these local coalitions, we are changing the culture and building communities where families can be supported in their decision to breastfeed.”
If Kansas is to realize the long-term benefits of breastfeeding, communities need to work together. All grantees will work in coordination with health care systems, health care providers, public health professionals and community efforts. Funding to these local breastfeeding coalitions will support the implementation of strategies recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support mothers in successful breastfeeding.