In January of 2011, the U.S. Surgeon General released a report outlining 20 actions to improve breastfeeding support in the United States, The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. Has your community taken infant feeding preparation and planning into account when planning for an emergency?
Annually, there are four million pregnant women in the United States alone. To help successfully achieve some of the Surgeon General’s calls to action in the emergency preparedness and response setting, it is helpful to start at the local level.
It is important to address the barriers and limitations that women have described in their reasons for not breastfeeding. Infant feeding is a mother’s choice and her ability to do so, medically or psychologically, is solely based on her decision. This in no way is meant to guilt any mothers.
Some actions that emergency planners can start to look into are:
More resources and information are available in the Surgeon General’s report. Emergency management planners and state policy makers can lead their communities into increasing support and awareness of breastfeeding, which is one step closer to decreasing the cost for the nation and being an example to other states around the nation.
Tala Hooban works in ACF's Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response as a Preparedness and Community Resilience Team Lead.
 Martin, J.A., Hamilton B.E., Ventura, S.J., Osterman, M.J.K., Wilson, E.C., & Mathews, T.J. (2012). Final data for 2010. National Vital Statistics Reports, 61 (1), p. 2.