1. Spatz, Diane L. PhD, RN-BC, FAAN

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The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is a global network of organizations and individuals dedicated to the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding (WABA, n.d.). World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action coordinates and organizes World Breastfeeding Week annually every August to bring increased awareness and attention to the needs of breastfeeding families globally.


In 2001, I joined Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) with the directive to develop a system-wide comprehensive lactation program. At that time, CHOP only had 1.0 full-time equivalent International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. To increase provision of evidence-based human milk and breastfeeding care and support, I developed the breastfeeding resource nurse model (Spatz, 2005). In this model, nurses provide evidence-based lactation support and care, and are empowered by their knowledge of science and research on human milk and lactation (Spatz, Froh, Flynn-Roth, & Barton, 2015). All units and clinical areas have breastfeeding resource nurses and they serve as champions in their work areas.


To create excitement and visibility around the role and for the use of human milk and breastfeeding, a multidimensional World Breastfeeding Week celebration was initiated at CHOP and has been in place for over 15 years. The celebration continues to evolve and includes several key aspects: hospital-wide poster competition, main lobby display with door prizes, grand rounds, breastfeeding resource nurse star award, and gifts for families and team members.


Every area in the hospital is asked to make two posters (one for their unit and one to display in our main lobby). The poster competition has grown exponentially over the years; this year we had almost 50 entries including nursing units and many of our interdisciplinary colleagues (social workers, speech language pathologists). Awards are given based on creativity, inclusion of the theme for the year, and tailoring of information to their specific area. For their participation, the unit receives World Breastfeeding Week pens for all team members, which provide a year-long visual reminder to advocate for human milk and breastfeeding. A display for our main lobby is created, including several posters about our employee lactation program, lactation services we offer to families, the World Breastfeeding Week theme of the year, the CHOP mothers' milk bank, and our peer-to-peer support group. To facilitate participation, the student interns gather gifts and door prizes from the community (for example, coffee shop gifts, food baskets, massage gift certificates). They staff the display and encourage completion of a 10-question quiz about the information on the posters. Participants who score 100% are eligible to win the door prize of their choice.


We hold an hour-long grand rounds with continuing-education credits, open to hospital employees and the community. During the grand rounds, the breastfeeding resource nurse star of the year is awarded. This award is given to a nurse who is nominated by their peers for providing support, teaching, advocating, and serving as a resource to breastfeeding families at CHOP. We also celebrate our families during World Breastfeeding Week. We give them gifts of pens, cooler bags, and bibs for their infants, as well as information cards. We hold a photo shoot so families can have pictures with their hospitalized infants. I hope by sharing the details of CHOP's World Breastfeeding Week celebration, it will generate ideas so more institutions will participate in this annual celebration to protect and promote use of human milk and breastfeeding.




Spatz D. L. (2005). Report of a staff program to promote and support breastfeeding in the care of vulnerable infants at a children's hospital. Journal of Perinatal Education, 14(1), 30-38. doi:10.1624/105812405X23630 [Context Link]


Spatz D. L., Froh E. B., Flynn-Roth R., Barton S. (2015). Improving practice at the point of care through the optimization of the breastfeeding resource nurse model. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 44(3), 412-418. doi:10.1111/1552-6909.12570 [Context Link]


World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action & World Breastfeeding Week. (n.d.). Retrieved from Accessed November 3, 2019.