Help Support First 5 Alameda County's Policy Agenda
On June 25 California's Assembly Health Committee is scheduled to hear SB 402, a ground-breaking bill sponsored by California WIC Association (CWA) which would require all California perinatal hospitals to become Baby Friendly, or adopt an alternate process, by 2025. Please fax or mail your letter of support to Assembly member Richard Pan, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, by Friday, June 21 - or no later than Monday, June 24. Fax number: (916) 319-2197.
You'll find updated template letters on the CWA Website. All you need to do is personalize one and send it in!
What the Bill Does
It's a policy priority of First 5 Alameda County to promote lactation support at hospitals, clinics and with families. We wholeheartedly support SB 402, which does the following:
- Requires all perinatal hospitals in California to implement Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as adopted by Baby Friendly USA per the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, by January 1, 2025.
- Provides hospitals the option to adopt an alternate process that's evidence-based and targets specific outcomes, such as the Kaiser Toolkit or CDPH Model Policies.
- Builds on CWA-sponsored legislation requiring hospitals to have an infant feeding policy that uses the guidance of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative by January 2014.
Why the Bill is Needed
- While there are 59 Baby Friendly hospitals in California, with dozens more in development, many hospitals do not have policies in place that promote and support breastfeeding.
- Many of the hospitals without such policies are in areas which serve low income women of color, which creates health inequities right from the start.
- In California an impressive 90 percent of mothers begin to breastfeed in the hospital. By the time of discharge, however, only 40 percent are still breastfeeding exclusively.
- Studies have shown that hospital policies and practices can have a dramatic impact on breastfeeding rates, including the weeks and months after birth.
- Early infant feeding practices can effect later growth and development in children; breastfeeding can significantly reducing their risk for infections and chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and obesity.
For further information contact Donna Hoffman by email or call 530-750-2280.