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Human milk protects the lifelong health of babies and lactating parents and mothers

Health organizations worldwide recommend breastfeeding or chestfeeding babies exclusively for six months, and then continuing to feed human milk for one year and beyond, even as solid foods are introduced. The longer and more exclusively a parent breastfeeds their baby, the greater the health benefits they both receive.

Support helps lactating parents nurse longer

Most parents in Oregon plan to provide human milk for their babies. In fact, over 90 percent of Oregon mothers and parents start out human milk feeding. However, in the weeks following birth, breastfeeding/chestfeeding is reduced or stopped for a variety of reasons. 

With active support, these barriers can be resolved so that parents can achieve their personal feeding goals and meet breastfeeding/chestfeeding recommendations.

The Oregon Public Health Division works with community and public partners to protect, promote and support lactation at every level – in the home, work environment, child care, health care system, and public settings.

Families, employers, childcare and health care providers, hospitals, and communities all play a role in reducing barriers and ensuring that lactating parents get the support they deserve. Check out our white paper resource that gives an overview of the landscape of breastfeeding in Oregon here.

Inclusive language in infant feeding

Alongside the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), OHA is working to use gender-inclusive language and terms that support all people in relation to infant feeding, especially those within the LGBTQI community. For more information on this, please refer to the ABM statement