MDHHS is committed to supporting breastfeeding families, increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration and closing the breastfeeding gap between black and white populations that remains persistent in Michigan. Though from 2010 – 2018 the White Black disparity in breastfeeding initiation has narrowed from 19% to 14.7%, MDHHS remains committed to closing this gap further. The root cause of breastfeeding disparities is systemic racism and by addressing systemic racism must remain at the core of our strategies.
MDHHS is pleased to announce a step toward improving breastfeeding rates in Michigan by releasing The Michigan Breastfeeding Plan: State Strategies To Advance Breastfeeding Practice 2021-2024. This plan highlights how breastfeeding is crucial at each of the perinatal phases and outlines strategies for partners to consider and MDHHS commitments.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for about six months, with continued breastfeeding alongside complementary foods for at least one year. There are two measures used to monitor breastfeeding. Initiation describes whether a baby was ever breastfed, and duration describes how long a baby was breastfed. Michigan’s Breastfeeding Plan sets goals for initiation and 3-month duration because these are the measures that have the most reliable data for Michigan. This data comes from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System.
The Breastfeeding Plan sets the common agenda necessary for a collaborative approach to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding in Michigan. The strategies of the Breastfeeding Plan contribute to Michigan’s larger goals of ensuring that all families can attain health potential and align with the strategies of the Mother Infant Health & Equity Improvement Plan of
MDHHS would like to thank the statewide partners who provided invaluable input on the plan through a statewide survey and public comment period. Click here to access a PDF version of the Plan.
Please contact Shatoria Townsend (TownsendS2@michigan.gov) for more information on Michigan's breastfeeding initiatives.