According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 83.8% of Kansas moms initiate breastfeeding, but this number drops to 50.5% by the time the child is 6 months old and 32.4% at 12 months of age. There’s no question that breastfeeding benefits moms and babies, yet a lack of support from healthcare providers, workplaces and other systems often prevent moms from reaching their breastfeeding goals.
Members of the community met in January 2019 to form the Johnson County Breastfeeding Coalition to discuss the landscape of breastfeeding support in the county. The conversation explored barriers to breastfeeding and generated project ideas for areas of improvement. The coalition meets monthly.
Last month the coalition recruited additional businesses to display the “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” window sticker, bringing the total number in Johnson County to 31 and meeting the final requirement to attain the Community Supporting Breastfeeding designation from the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition.
The coalition is working to bring together additional members of the community who have personal breastfeeding experience or who play a role in breastfeeding outcomes. The coalition meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 2 - 3:30 p.m. at the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, 6000 Lamar Ave. in Mission. Contact Danica.Pelzel@jocogov.org or call 913-826-1229 for more information.