Joint letter for breastfeeding goes to Congress

A letter signed by 90 national and state organizations was sent to Congress today, asking for $15 million per year in line-item funding to promote breastfeeding. The letter also calls for the establishment of a new Interagency Work Group on breastfeeding to help decide how to use the funds to support a strategic plan to improve breastfeeding rates.

The letter, which originated from the American Public Health Association, has 35 national signatories that include organizations focused on many aspects of health, from public health, to women’s health, to children’s health. Among the signatories are the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Nurse Midwives, the American Dietetic Association, Lamaze International, and the National WIC Association.

In addition to the national signatories, there are 55 state, local, and tribal signatories representing 43 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Navajo Nation.

The letter comes as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are marking up the current appropriations bills.

“We need to speak loudly and with one voice,” said Dr. Melissa Bartick of Massachusetts, who helped spearhead the letter as the chair of APHA’s Breastfeeding Forum. You can read the letter online here.