It may come as a surprise to some Michigan residents that the state has had an official plan for breastfeeding.  The first state’s first official approach to the practice was developed in 2017. Now the Michigan Health and Human Services Department has updated the plan and is hoping you might be willing to offer some thoughts or suggestions on how the “Michigan Breastfeeding Plan” can be improved.

The original plan developed during the former administration of Governor Rick Snyder set forth a basic goal.  “The Breastfeeding Plan sets the common agenda necessary for a collaborative approach among state, local and tribal government; health care professionals and organizations; employers; child care providers and educational institutions; community organizations; and, most importantly, individuals and families.”

Current Health and Human Services Department Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joneigh Khaldun says of the proposed 2021 plan, “Every infant should have an opportunity to breastfeed and it is important that MDHHS continues to work with partners to support breastfeeding for all families. We will continue to address disparities in breastfeeding so that all families have the resources and support they need.”

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The American Academy of Pediatrics believes infants should exclusively be breastfed through the first six months. Then it recommends continued breastfeeding augmented by complementary foods for as long as another 12 months. A survey conducted by the state in 2018 shows the vast majority of mothers responding never breastfed their babies and only 58 percent did so for their child’s first three months of life. Dr Khaldun says the survey shows that the importance of starting to breastfeed and the length of time mothers breastfeed is critical information that Michigan mothers need to hear about.

The state’s plan will be released early next year. Residents may comment on the plan through Friday the 18th of this month (December) 2021. Public comment on the Plan will be accepted by email through 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18 at  TownsendS2@michigan.gov. Respondents are asked to use “Michigan Breastfeeding Plan Feedback”  in the subject line.

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