2016 Annual Breastfeeding Grand Rounds Aims to Promote Exclusive Breastfeeding

Webcast by New York State Department of Health and University at Albany School of Public Health to Explore Strategies

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 3, 2016) – The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the University at Albany School of Public Health are hosting the annual Breastfeeding Grand Rounds webcast on Thursday, August 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ET. The live webcast, entitled "Building a Continuum of Care to Support Exclusive Breastfeeding in New York State," is being aired during World Breastfeeding Week.

The webcast targets healthcare professionals and will highlight three initiatives in New York that promote exclusive breastfeeding: the WIC Exclusive Breastfeeding Learning Community, the Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals initiative and Breastfeeding Friendly Practice Designation. Each of these programs will be discussed, so they can be adopted by webcast participants in other healthcare settings.

"Healthcare providers play a crucial role in encouraging and supporting women to exclusively breastfeed, which has been proven to have significant health benefits for both the mother and the baby," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. "The Department continues to work with hospitals and providers to make system changes that help women breastfeed, with the goal of extending breastfeeding well into the first two years of a child's life."

The webinar will feature Dr. Ruth Lawrence, a professor of pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry as well as Dr. Zucker and program leaders at the NYSDOH. The panelists will share strategies, challenges and best practices that are positively changing breastfeeding trends in New York State.

Although 87% of New York mothers initiate breastfeeding, only 43% exclusively breastfeed by the time they leave the hospital. Over the years, New York State has adopted laws and regulations that have increased support for new moms who want to breastfeed exclusively, including the right to refuse bottle feeding and pacifiers in the hospital, and the right to breastfeed in any location, public or private.

New York also recently passed the Paid Family Leave Act legislation, which provides partial wage replacement, so that new parents can stay home and bond with their newborns. Research in California shows that new moms who have paid family leave are more likely to exclusively breastfeed and to do so for a longer period of time."

Last year's webcast was viewed by more than 3,600 people in 45 states, as well as Puerto Rico, Canada and Denmark. Participants in the webcast are eligible to secure free continuing medical education (CME), continuing nursing education (CNE), certified health education specialists (CHES) credits and lactation counselor continuing education recognition points (LCERPS).

For more information and to register, visit: http://www.albany.edu/sph/cphce/bfgr16.shtml or call 518-402-0330.