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As Part of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, NYC Health + Hospitals Encourages Parents to Breastfeed for Two Years

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nursing in a child’s second year can help reduce maternal and infant mortality and morbidity

Aug 29, 2023

In recognition of National Breastfeeding Month, NYC Health + Hospitals today encouraged parents to breastfeeding for two years or more, if mutually desired by parents and their babies. The guidance is in line with last year’s updated recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which says breast milk in a child’s second year of life is a significant source of macronutrients and immunologic factors. Further, the AAP says breastfeeding for longer than 12 months can reduce maternal type 2 diabetes, hypertension, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer rates. All NYC Health + Hospitals’ 11 hospitals have been nationally designated as “Baby-Friendly” for providing new parents with the information, confidence, and skills they need to successfully take care of their newborn, including breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding remains the best way for a parent to pass along important nutrients and immunity to their child, and we recommend that all new parents initiate breastfeeding if they can,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Women’s Health Officer Wendy Wilcox, MD, MPH, MBA, FACOG. “Breastfeeding is also an important way to protect future maternal health, including decreasing the risk of developing certain cancers, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension later in life. As a system, NYC Health + Hospitals is Baby Friendly, which means we have achieved the gold standard in helping birthing parents successfully initiate and sustain breastfeeding.”

There are disparities in breastfeeding initiation rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the initiation rates for the non-Hispanic White and Hispanic populations are much higher than for the non-Hispanic Black or African Americans. Similar disparities are also seen among mothers who are low-income, younger women, and those with a high school education or less.

To reduce disparities and increase breastfeeding initiation, NYC Health + Hospitals offers:

  • Breastfeeding classes (available in-person and online, as well as one-on-one and group settings)
  • Lactation consultants in postpartum units, as well as women’s health and pediatrics clinics
  • Hospital-grade electric breast pumps for parents whose newborns must remain in the hospital
  • Free personal breast pumps (for eligible parents)

Additionally, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens are home to lactation pods that provide a private, comfortable, and sanitary space for parents to breastfeed their babies or pump breast milk. These pods are open to the public.

Our dedicated doctors and nurses provide patients with breastfeeding education, help clients with breastfeeding techniques, order breast pumps and supplies, and our Maternal Home team members connect clients to community-based resources and breastfeeding support groups.

NYC Health + Hospitals’ health plan, MetroPlusHealth, offers breast pumps free of charge with a doctor’s prescription.

To learn more about obstetrics and gynecology services, including breastfeeding, at NYC Health + Hospitals, visit our website.


MEDIA CONTACT: 212-788-3339; PressOffice@nychhc.org

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.