Kansas Department of Health and Environment/Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition

At an official signing ceremony, Governor Laura Kelly proclaimed August “Breastfeeding Awareness Month” in Kansas. This proclamation recognizes the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of Kansans.

The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition created the following Handout for Physicians/Health Care Providers with the following action items to help you implement breastfeeding awareness in your practice:

  • Tell patients that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer—even if the woman is not of childbearing age. She is probably a friend or family member to women who are having children. She will pass this information along.
  • Add lactation history to patient health history form—this will raise awareness about the woman’s breastfeeding history and its impact on her lifelong health.
  • Provide patients with the accompanying “Patient” handout—this information maybe personally useful and/or may be shared with others in their lives.

More than 90 percent of families in Kansas choose to breastfeed. Yet despite its importance, only 31 percent of Kansas’ infants are exclusively breastfed during the critical first six months of life. Increased investment in breastfeeding could results in saving an estimated 22 women’s lives each year due to breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.  Investing in breastfeeding could save the lives of seven children, due mostly to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  And finally, investing in breastfeeding would save Kansas more than $27 million in medical costs each year. Tell us how your office is celebrating Breastfeeding awareness month. Share your tips and stories on our Facebook page Kansas Academy of Family Physicians.