Welcoming Franklin County to the Breastfeeding Family Friendly network!
Franklin County is working towards the Ten Steps to a Breastfeeding Family Friendly Community. This is not just about providing lactation support to families; it’s about changing the very systems with which families interact.
Achieving Health Equity Through Community Collaboration
Families in Franklin County, like families everywhere, often start breastfeeding, chestfeeding, or human milk feeding in hospital settings but discontinue once they return home. The reasons cited? A lack of safe, welcoming spaces and negative community attitudes toward breastfeeding. The time to turn this around is now, and Franklin County is stepping up.
Franklin County faces a unique set of challenges as a rural community. Unlike urban areas with an abundance of healthcare facilities and resources, rural settings like Franklin County often lack easy access to lactation consultants, postpartum care, and lactation support groups. Many families may need to travel considerable distances to get the medical care and support they require, which can be a daunting task, especially for new parents. Public spaces that welcome breastfeeding, chestfeeding, or human milk feeding can be scarce, making it more challenging for families to continue these practices once they leave the hospital or their homes. Additionally, rural communities may also harbor long-standing cultural stigmas about breastfeeding in public, creating another layer of difficulty for families. By focusing on Franklin County, we’re aiming to address these unique challenges head-on and create an environment where all families feel supported and encouraged to provide the optimal start for their infants.
A Focus on Equity: Why it Matters
We all know that breastfeeding, chest feeding, and human milk feeding offer important immediate and long-term benefits to both infants and their families. Yet, the support needed to begin and maintain lactation is anything but equitable. Black families, Indigenous families, and families of color face inequities in resources, education, and welcome that can lead to poorer health outcomes. Franklin County will focus on Policy, System, and Environmental changes that benefit those who have been historically marginalized.
- Creating partnerships with the business community to increase public and private spaces that are friendly to families choosing to breastfeed, chest-feed, or human milk feed.
- Providing community education to foster an understanding of the importance of breastfeeding to the health of the child, family, and community.
- Building a network of lactation support providers and community advocates that meet the diverse needs of families in the community.
- Advocating for policies that support all forms of lactation.