AMCHP Counters U.S. Opposition to Breastfeeding Resolution
July 13, 2018

Association leads coalition letter from 51 groups urging HHS to support breastfeeding globally as it does domestically

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) led a coalition of 51 national organizations and academic centers in sending a letter today to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar expressing concern over reports that the United States delegation to the 2018 World Health Assembly sought to weaken a resolution designed to support breastfeeding.

“The health benefits of breastfeeding are well-documented through extensive research,” said the letter, which was spearheaded by AMCHP and signed by such groups as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Public Health Association, and the March of Dimes.

The letter affirms that the United States government should be supporting globally the same public health practices that it promotes here in the United States. It highlights the commitment the United States has demonstrated to supporting breastfeeding and the significant resources the United States invests in programs to support breastfeeding, including through the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant.

“The position presented by the U.S. to the global community contradicts the very public health practices that we promote domestically,” the groups wrote.

While recognizing that not all women may desire or have the option to breastfeed, the letter asserts that respecting families’ agency in deciding how they feed their children is not in conflict with addressing the inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children.