Community Breastfeeding Support in the Time of Public Health Emergencies

Originally presented on December 22, 2020


There is a strong evidence-base documenting the health benefits of breastfeeding for women and infants. Despite widespread professional recommendations for exclusive breastfeeding until six months, followed by continued breastfeeding up to 1 year or longer, these public health goals are often not met.

Efforts to advance these goals and reduce racial/ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural disparities have been challenged this year by the COVID-19 pandemic. The speakers will discuss evidence-based strategies to reduce breastfeeding disparities, including improved hospital, post-partum, and community lactation support.

They will discuss the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, the impact on breastfeeding, and successful community strategies to overcome them, including tele-health, Baby Cafes, home visiting, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant and Children (WIC) breastfeeding supports and the Breastfeeding-Friendly Communities initiative.

Target Audience

Local and state public health professionals, clinicians (physicians, midwives, health care providers, nurses) and lactation specialists.

Federally funded through the New York State Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).



Community Breastfeeding Support in the Time of Public Health Emergencies


Learn More


Priscilla DeJesus, MPA
Project Coordinator, Creating Breastfeeding Friendly Communities at the East Harlem Action Center and the Brooklyn Neighborhood Health Action Center Baby Café

Barbara Dennison, MD
Director, Policy and Research Translation Unit, Division of Chronic Disease Prevention,
New York State Department of Health
Clinical Professor, Depts of Epidemiology and Statistics & Health Policy, Management and Behavior, University at Albany School of Public Health

Sharon N. Marshall, CLC
Program Manager, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Brooklyn Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone (BFEZ) and the Newborn Home Visiting Program

Kelsey Munn, RD, IBCLC, CDN, CLC
Community Lactation Consultant
Bellevue Women’s Center at Ellis Medicine, Schenectady

Learning Outcome and Objectives

As a result of this activity, the learner will increase their knowledge and competence on cultural and socioeconomic disparities in breastfeeding and the importance of community support networks for breastfeeding parents.

After watching this webcast participants will be able to:

  • Summarize evidence-based strategies to reduce disparities in breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity and duration
  • Describe current recommendations to support breastfeeding for pregnant women and new mothers and their infants during public health emergencies, such as COVID-19
  • Explain how community support networks, Baby Cafés and home visiting programs support women to breastfeed for a longer time period.
Evaluation, Post-Test and Certificate
Continuing Education Credits

To Obtain Continuing Education Credits

Each participant interested in CE credits must complete an evaluation and post-test, which is available above under "Evaluation, Post-Test & 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.

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

No commercial funding has been accepted for this activity.


Continuing Medical Education Contact Hours

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 Education Contact Hours are offered until December 31, 2023.


Continuing Nurse Education Contact Hours

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 hour(s).

Nursing Contact Hours are offered until December 31, 2023.


Certified Health Education Specialists

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 total Category I contact education contact hours. Maximum advanced-level continuing education contact hours available are 0. Continuing Competency credits available are 2. Provider ID# 99086.

Continuing Education Contact Hours are offered until December 31, 2023


Lactation Continuing Education Recognition Points (L-CERPs) 

LCERPS have expired for this activity.