Breastfeeding promotion programs

Program basics

  • Provide education and information about breastfeeding to women throughout prenatal and postnatal care
  • Often support and encourage breastfeeding among women in the workplace through various programs
  • Offer counseling from health care providers or trained volunteers as well as support groups for nursing mothers
  • Engage in legal and social advocacy for breastfeeding activities

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)


Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

Target population

Parents with children under the age of 5

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

Not available

Outcomes and impact

  • Increases in the number of children who are breastfed
  • Reduces ear, lower respiratory, and gastrointestinal infections in infants
  • Lower likelihood of childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and asthma in children
  • Reduces risk of breast and ovarian cancer in mothers
  • Lower rates of maternal hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Successful programs aim to reduce breastfeeding barriers that women face, both publicly and privately.
  • Partnerships with employers enable better support for breastfeeding mothers, often by creating spaces to pump and store breast milk.
  • Informational initiatives around breastfeeding in hospitals, maternity clinics, and early care facilities can improve understanding and persistence in new mothers.
  • Pairing breastfeeding initiatives with peer counseling and nutrition programs can provide additional support to new mothers.
  • Public health legislation that allows for breastfeeding in public reduces cost of and barriers to breastfeeding.

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