Wednesday, March 03, 2010

NWA testifies to the importance of the Ten Steps and Code

The National WIC Association's Kiran Saluja, Deputy Director of PHFE WIC, was asked to testify about WIC and breastfeeding issues before the House Committee on Education and Labor, chaired by WIC Champion George Miller (D-Concord) Tuesday, March 2, 2010, to discuss federal child nutrition programs - WIC, child care food, and school meals - that are up for Reauthorization.

She noted that an important place to start to help WIC succeed in its breastfeeding support and promotion efforts would be to fix the breastfeeding - broken hospitals!

"While I recognize this may be beyond the purview of this Committee, I am compelled to ask you to work collaboratively with your colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee and Ways and Means Committee to pass legislation that requires that all hospitals that receive Medicaid funds adhere, at a minimum, to a set of model policies that do not sabotage breastfeeding, and at best initiate steps to become a Baby Friendly Hospital.... another important way to help WIC promote and support breastfeeding would be for the Committee in collaboration with your partners in Congress to make a determined effort to eliminate or sharply curb the blatant direct marketing of infant formula, which violates the WHO code and targets vulnerable low income women of color."

Here in North Carolina, CGBI is working with many partners to further The Ten Steps that are the essence of the Baby Friendly Hospital approach across the state, in partnership with the State Department of Public Health, and are planning a interstate working meeting on this issue. In addition, we are continuing to raise the issue of the dangers to health of direct marketing of commercial formula.

Please support these efforts in any way you can.

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