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August 2022: Breastfeeding Month

WHEREAS, breastfeeding is not a lifestyle choice--it is a racial equity and public health imperative and should made feasible for every family; and,

WHEREAS, we must address systemic barriers to breastfeeding, including ensuring paid family leave, workplace support, and culturally-appropriate breastfeeding support; and,

WHEREAS, breastfeeding and providing young children with human milk results in improved child and maternal health outcomes and is a key disease prevention strategy for various conditions, including 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, leukemia – many of which disproportionately impact Black, Brown and Indigenous People; and,

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Pediatrics concludes that “breastfeeding and human milk are the reference normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition,”; and,

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, with continuation of breastfeeding for 2 years or longer as mutually desired by mother and child, a recommendation concurred to by the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine”; and,

WHEREAS, breastfeeding and providing human milk to young children is central to reclaiming traditional birth practices from the detrimental and ongoing impacts of colonialism and chattel slavery on Indigenous and Black communities; and,

WHEREAS, breastfeeding in public is protected under the 2014 “Breastfeeding Anti-Discrimination Act” in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, just as everyone in society benefits from breastfeeding and young children receiving human milk, so must everyone contribute to making breastfeeding and providing human milk to young children accessible to ensure a healthy future for all Michigan residents;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 2022 as Breastfeeding Month in Michigan.