Skip to main content

Governor Whitmer declares August as Breastfeeding Month

Aug. 8-14 - Indigenous Milk Medicine Week 

Aug. 15-21-Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Week 

Aug. 25-31 - Black Breastfeeding Week

Sept. 5-11 - Lactancia Latina 

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan is committed to encouraging a strong foundation for life by supporting breastfeeding/chestfeeding parents for the first year of their child’s life and beyond. As part of this effort, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is declaring August 2023 as Breastfeeding Month.

“Breastfeeding can protect babies against allergies, sickness and diseases like diabetes and certain cancers,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive.  “Michigan is committed to helping breastfeeding parents reach their goals through community-based support such as doulas and WIC peer counselors to help diversify lactation support and increase breastfeeding rates in local communities across the state.”  

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding up to 2 years old. Human milk feeding results in improved health for infants, children and parents, including preventing breast and ovarian cancers, serious colds and ear and throat infections, gastrointestinal tract infections, necrotizing enterocolitis, sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, atopic dermatitis, and eczema, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and leukemia – many conditions which excessively impact Black, Brown and Indigenous people.  

Although 88.4% of Michigan families start breastfeeding, the difference between white non-Hispanic initiation (98.8%) and Black, non-Hispanics initiation (76.2%) highlights the barriers that impact families of color. (PRAMS 2021). Some of those barriers include lack of access to supportive health care and childcare providers, and lack of paid work leave that leads to early weaning. Additionally, there are fewer lactation professionals from communities of color. 

The State of Michigan Women, Infants and Children program is celebrating National Breastfeeding Month with the theme “Into Every Drop.” WIC supports breastfeeding in the following ways: 

  • Free, unlimited access to lactation consultants and breastfeeding peer counselors. 
  • Training to all WIC staff to support prenatal and breastfeeding families. 
  • Breastfeeding clients get more WIC foods than non-breastfeeding clients, including canned fish, and are able to stay on the program longer.
  • At 6 months, breastfed babies receive infant meats and more fruits and vegetables.
  • Many WIC clinics offer telehealth appointments. 
  • WIC offers a breastfeeding warmline available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 833-MIWICBF (833-649-4223). 

For more information, visit the Michigan Breastfeeding Network.

# # #



Media Contact: