Addressing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding Through Community and Hospital-Based Approaches

Originally presented on December 14, 2022


Human milk is recognized as providing optimal nutrition and many health benefits to infants and birth parents. Its use should be recommended and supported to ensure it is available for all infants. However, there are significant disparities in the infant feeding of human milk and the accompanying benefits from breastfeeding. Lower prevalence of breastfeeding by those in the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community do not happen in isolation; they are part of lifelong pervasive disparities faced by this community on a regular basis. Against a backdrop of systemic racism, structural barriers, and cultural factors, they manifest as disparities in maternal morbidity, maternal and infant mortality, and most recently COVID-19 infection. Breastfeeding success is impacted by the full socio-ecological spectrum of influences including individual, family, community, as well as public and institutional policies.  

In order to address disparities in breastfeeding, changes in the hospital and health care environments and greater involvement from impacted communities are needed. The purpose of this webcast will be to summarize trends in disparities in breastfeeding measures, identify contributing factors, describe successful initiatives to increase breastfeeding and reduce disparities, and discuss examples of steps being taken to implement these strategies in New York.



Addressing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding Through Community and Hospital-Based Approaches


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Anne Merewood, PhD, MPH
Director, Center for Health Equity, Education, & Research (Cheer)  
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine  
Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health

Camie Goldhammer, MSW, LICSW, IBCLC (Sisseton-Wahpeton)
Founding Executive Director, Doula and Lactation Consultant, Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services
Founder and Managing Director, Indigenous Lactation Counselor, Native American Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington 

Learning Outcome and Objectives

As a result of participation in this activity, the learners will increase and enhance knowledge and competence in addressing racial/ethnic disparities in breastfeeding through community and hospital-based approaches.

After watching this webcast participants will be able to: 

  • Review the trends in breastfeeding prevalence and racial/ethnic disparities in New York and the U.S. 
  • Recognize barriers contributing to disparities in breastfeeding.   
  • Discuss community engagement strategies to increase equitable access to lactation resources.  
  • Explain methods, including quality improvement, to increase hospital compliance with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.  
  • Identify the different components of the Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices Initiative to increase breastfeeding prevalence and reduce racial disparities.
Evaluation, Post-Test and Certificate
Continuing Education Credits

To Obtain Continuing Education Credits

Each participant interested in CE credits must watch the activity, complete an evaluation and post-test, which is available above under "Evaluation, Post-Test and Certificate". A score of 80% and above on the post-test will generate a certificate indicating the requested credits. Registered Dietitians see the link above.

Criteria for Successful Completion: Learners must attend 100% of this activity to be awarded full continuing education credits/contact hours. 


Disclosure Statements

The planners, moderator, and presenters do not have any financial arrangements or affiliations with any ineligible companies whose products, research or services may be discussed in this activity. 

No commercial funding has been accepted for this activity. 


Continuing Medical Education Credits

The School of Public Health, University at Albany is accredited by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School of Public Health, University at Albany designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Continuing Medical Education credits are offered through December 31, 2023


Continuing Nursing Education Credits

University at Albany School of Public Health is approved with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Northeast Multistate Division Education Unit, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This offering is approved for 2.0 nursing contact hours.

Nursing Contact Hours are offered through December 31, 2023.


Certified in Health Education Credits

Sponsored by the School of Public Health, University at Albany, SUNY, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES®) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES®) to receive up to 2.0 total Category I contact education contact hours. Maximum advanced-level continuing education contact hours available are 0. Continuing Competency credits available are 2.0. Provider ID# 99086.

Continuing Education Contact Hours are offered through December 31, 2023.


Certified in Public Health Credits 

This event is sponsored by the School of Public Health, University at Albany, an approved provider of CPH Renewal Credits by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

This offering is approved for 2.0 Certified in Public Health Renewal Credits.

Continuing Education Contact Hours are offered through December 31, 2023.


Lactation Continuing Education Recognition Points (L-CERPs)

CERPs are allocated by IBLCE, Approval Number C2022264. This activity has been approved for 2.0 L-CERPs. 

L-CERPs are offered through December 13, 2023.