Spread the word » Facebook Twitter

Can't read this? View as a web page.

Strategic Alliance  

Action Alert
January 28, 2011

221 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Tel: 510.444.7738
Fax: 510.663.1280



Study Shows Breastfeeding Gap Still Exists in Hospitals Serving Low-Income Women

Nearly 90 percent of California mothers have made the decision to exclusively breastfeed, yet only half are breastfeeding exclusively upon hospital discharge, says One Hospital at a Time, a report released today by the California WIC Association (CWA) and UC Davis Human Lactation Center. The study underscores the critical role that hospital practices play in ensuring breastfeeding success.

Among the findings, the study found that a surprising 22 California hospitals continue to provide formula supplementation to more than 75 percent of newborns. The report also highlights the exclusive breastfeeding “gap” which is greatest in hospitals serving low-income mothers and babies.

Strategic Alliance encourages Rapid Responders to pitch this story to local reporters, write opinion pieces, and pen letters to the editor in response to local media coverage.

Keep in mind: this study contains in-hospital breastfeeding rates by county; use them to highlight the state of breastfeeding in your community and call for organizational practice changes in hospitals to support exclusive breastfeeding.

Here are some angles you could cover in your response:

  • Healthy communities means supporting breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeeding is one of the most important preventive care measures for children’s health, protecting against infections and chronic disease, and helping to build healthy immune systems. But mothers can’t do it alone. We need policies in place that support children’s health from the start – and that means shifting hospital practices so that they don’t undermine breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding adds up. Illness and chronic disease related to poor nutrition and physical inactivity accounts for nearly 17% of our health care costs —that’s $168 million a year in medical costs alone. In addition to the health boosts breastfeeding provides, there are significant economic benefits. If 90% of U.S. mothers exclusively breastfed for the first six months, the U.S. would save an estimated $13 billion annually in reduced medical costs.

Read the full CWA report: One Hospital at a Time

For a more in-depth look at how to frame this important issue in the media, visit Making the Case for Breastfeeding: The Health Argument Isn’t Enough.

See the media coverage that One Hospital at a Time has already received, and voice your response through letters and comments.

Share your advocacy efforts with us!  Did you write a letter or pitch a story in support of baby-friendly hospitals? Send us a quick note so we can make sure your efforts are recognized.

To find out more about what advocates can do about making the case for healthier food and activity environments, please visit the advocacy tools listed on the
Rapid Response Media Network.



The Strategic Alliance is reframing the debate on nutrition and physical activity away from a focus solely on individual choice and lifestyle towards one of environmental influences and corporate and government responsibility. Current Steering Committee members are: California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness Program (CANFit), California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA), California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) , California Project LEAN, California WIC Association (CWA), Child Care Food Program Roundtable, Latino Health Access, Partnership for the Public's Health, PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, Samuels & Associates, and Public Health Law and Policy.


The Strategic Alliance is currently engaged in building a broad and diverse statewide membership. To join or for more information, please visit us on the Web, www.eatbettermovemore.org, or contact Phebe Gibson at 510.444.7738 or Phebe@preventioninstitute.org. And even if you're already a member, please forward this message on to your colleagues so we can continue to strengthen our coalition. Thank you!


The Strategic Alliance is reframing the debate on nutrition and

physical activity - from a focus solely on individual choice and lifestyle,

towards one of environmental influences and corporate and government responsibility.


Home | About Us | Our Approach