Governor Kelly signs ‘Kansas Breastfeeding Month’ proclamation for August

(Left to right) Kelly Vickers, Jessica Herrera Russell, Stacey Knoell, Jennifer Ellis, Javis...
(Left to right) Kelly Vickers, Jessica Herrera Russell, Stacey Knoell, Jennifer Ellis, Javis Doleman, Brenda Bandy, Derik Flerlage, Governor Laura Kelly, Senator Dinah Sykes, Kristen Alhareedi, Shalese Clay, Celina Lopez and Stephanne Rupnicki join together for the signing of the "Kansas Breastfeeding Month" proclamation.(Kansas Department of Health and Environment)
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 11:17 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed the proclamation for “Kansas Breastfeeding Month” for August.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) officials said at an official ceremony on Aug. 1, Governor Kelly signed the proclamation for “Kansas Breastfeeding Month.” This proclamation recognizes the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of Kansans.

“We are extremely pleased with Governor Kelly’s proclamation, which highlights the importance of breastfeeding support for families in Kansas,” said Brenda Bandy, IBCLC, Executive Director of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition (KBC). “This proclamation supports their decision and provides a foundation to build a landscape of breastfeeding support in our state.”

“Exclusive breastfeeding for six months has a positive impact on the health of babies, parents, and public health and is a priority in Kansas,” said Dr. Joan Duwve, State Health Officer. “Strong statewide partnerships and community collaboration have allowed us to make strides to improve breastfeeding rates. We will continue to protect and improve the health of parents and infants by supporting and promoting breastfeeding.”

KDHE officials indicated nearly 90 percent of families in Kansas choose to breastfeed. Yet less than one in three Kansas infants are exclusively breastfed through the critical first six months of life. Lack of support and barriers in the workplace can often be obstacles for parents who choose to breastfeed.

According to KDHE officials, the recent passage of the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act has made it easier for more breastfeeding employees to be able to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. Additional policy changes are needed to address obstacles for parents who choose to breastfeed, including universal paid leave and insurance coverage for lactation support. Establishing better breastfeeding support will improve both baby’s and mother’s future health.

KDHE officials said Governor Kelly’s proclamation stresses the role of every Kansan to make breastfeeding easier in the state. The KBA State of Breastfeeding in Kansas 2023 report has the new breastfeeding rates for Kansas along with action items and resources for individuals, employers, child care providers, health care professionals and others to support breastfeeding.