LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued a proclamation declaring August 2022 as Breastfeeding Month.
There will also be specific weeks recognized throughout the month. August 8-14 will be Indigenous Milk Medicine Week. Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Week will be August 15-21. August 25-31 will be Black Breastfeeding Week.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is recommended to breastfeed up to 2 years of age. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that 86.9% of Michigan families initiate breastfeeding. However, only 58% are still breastfeeding at three months. Barriers to breastfeeding include lack of access to supportive health care and childcare providers, lack of paid work leave, and fewer lactation professionals from communities of color. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black infants are 20% less likely to ever receive breast milk than any other race.
“Proper nutrition for infants is critical for their growth and development, and it is important for hospitals, business, communities and coalitions to work together to provide consistent support for breastfeeding parents in Michigan,” said MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian.
“During National Breastfeeding Month we recommit ourselves to supporting infants and new parents and ensure that every Michigander has equitable access to the resources and support they need to give their child a great start,” said Governor Whitmer. “We will work with Michigan’s health care providers and local organizations to broaden public understanding about the impact breastfeeding has on improving infant health and reducing infant mortality rates within communities of color across the state. I will work with anyone to ensure every baby in Michigan has what they need to grow up and pursue their potential.”