August 2020: Breastfeeding Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Breastfeeding is a public health imperative that is central to successful health equity strategies that confront racism, classism, and sexism which are the root causes of inequities and is a key strategy for combating the maternal and infant mortality crisis; and,


WHEREAS, black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, black and indigenous infants are twice as likely to die before their first birthday than white infants, and Latino families endure a higher rate of infant mortality than white families; and,


WHEREAS, disparities in breastfeeding rates and other maternal and infant health outcomes are most drastic and evident for Black and Indigenous families than for other Michigan families; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan is committed to encouraging this strong foundation for life in all infants by supporting breastfeeding mothers for the first year and beyond; and,


WHEREAS, community health workers, such as community-based doulas and the WIC Peer Counseling support program, help to diversify lactation support and increase breastfeeding rates in local communities across the state of Michigan; and,


WHEREAS, breastfeeding exclusively for about six months and continuing for at least a year is shown to be the healthiest way to feed an infant and provide proven protection from various diseases and illnesses; and,


WHEREAS, infant nutrition is considered a public health issue, and, therefore, is important for hospitals, businesses, community agencies, and coalitions to work together to provide consistent and accurate information to help ensure successful breastfeeding; and,


WHEREAS, everyone in society benefits from breastfeeding success, so we should all contribute to the success of breastfeeding to ensure a healthy future for all Michigan residents; and,


WHEREAS, during this month, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Breastfeeding Network, and community breastfeeding coalitions to broaden the public’s understanding of the critical impact breastfeeding has on providing a strong foundation for life for an infant;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 2020 as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in Michigan.