FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 9, 2004
The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), representing more than 50 major health and professional organizations in the United States, announced its support of the National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign. This comprehensive public service campaign launched June 4, 2004 is sponsored by both the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Advertising Council. The campaign includes a series of multimedia ads focusing on the risks of not breastfeeding.
“The USBC is pleased to give its full support to the campaign,” said Amy Spangler, Chair of the USBC, “and is delighted to see breastfeeding portrayed in such a powerful way. We congratulate the Department of Health and Human Services for its longstanding support of breastfeeding and courage in bringing this campaign to fruition despite efforts by the infant formula industry to halt the campaign.”
“The use of humorous images to convey information about the risks associated with not breastfeeding will cause people to talk about breastfeeding, which is the whole premise of the campaign…to increase public knowledge of this important public health issue,” added Spangler.
The USBC has issued a challenge to communities to provide the essential support new mothers will need to breastfeed successfully including lactation consultants, mother-to-mother counselors, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program breastfeeding peer counselors, and community-based breastfeeding support groups.
The USBC has also challenged healthcare providers to employ evidence-based practices that support breastfeeding. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and adherence to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes are significant guidelines for success.
“While the target audience is pre-pregnant and first time mothers and their partners, the campaign also targets employers, co-workers, childcare providers, health professionals, family, and friends — all those who play a part in helping mothers give their babies the healthiest start,” adds Spangler.
The USBC encourages breastfeeding advocates to assist in disseminating the campaign messages by contacting public service directors in their communities and by incorporating the campaign messages into their World Breastfeeding Week activities August 1-7, 2004.
For more information about the campaign, please visit the DHHS website at www.4woman.gov. To view the ads visit the Ad Council website at www.adcouncil.org.