Breastfeeding Friendly LHD Logo

Breastfeeding Friendly Local Health Department Designation

by Brenda Bandy, Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, and Emily Brinkman, WSU Community Engagement Institute 

Local health departments (LHD) play a vital role in supporting breastfeeding parents in Kansas. The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition (KBC) and WSU Community Engagement Institute, in partnership with KDHE, created the Breastfeeding Friendly LHD designation to recognize and celebrate LHDs that are leading the way in supporting breastfeeding families, across all programs. 

Achieving the Breastfeeding Friendly LHD designation means the LHD has met eight criteria for breastfeeding support. Many local health departments have received the “Breastfeeding Employee Support Award” from the KBC which is one of the designation criteria. These health departments are well on their way to achieving the Breastfeeding Friendly LHD designation which recognizes support for breastfeeding clients throughout the LHD.  

Those achieving the Breastfeeding Friendly LHD designation will be promoted locally and statewide as leaders in breastfeeding support, fostering the LHD’s reputation for being family-focused and evidence-based. The designation will also build sustainability to the support being provided which will improve breastfeeding rates and health outcomes. 

The application and additional information on the criteria can be found on KBC’s Breastfeeding Friendly LHD page. The application will take about 20 minutes to complete once the required documents are gathered. There are only eight questions and most are checkboxes or file uploads. Only two questions require a brief written response. For questions and/or assistance completing the application, contact info@ksbreastfeeding.org.  

This designation is one example of the KBC’s work with state and local partners to improve policies, systems, and environments to remove barriers and build environments where breastfeeding is supported. Information about the KBC can be found at http://ksbreastfeeding.org/our-work/