Breastfeeding helps both babies and mothers stay healthy. Public Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics encourage exclusively breastfeeding for all babies for their first six months and continue for at least a year or longer as mutually desired by mother and baby.

Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby that cannot be reproduced in formula. Breastfed babies are healthier and have fewer infections and illnesses.   Remember—some breast milk is better than no breast milk! Breastfeeding also has economic advantages because it eliminates the need to purchase formula.  Because breastfed babies and mothers tend to be healthier, then families, businesses and health insurers also save money.

Breastfeeding is best for so many reasons:

Local breastfeeding support

Postpartum depression support

Postpartum Support International
Warm line: Call or text 1.800.944.4773
Services available in English and Spanish

Perinatal Support Washington
Warm Line: Call or text 1.888.404.7763 available 24/7
Services available in English and Spanish 

Baby Blue Connections
Warm line: Call or text 1.800.557.8375
Service available in English and Spanish
Weekly support groups (Portland and Vancouver)
Facebook page

SW Washington Healthy Families

The Clark County Breastfeeding Coalition has changed their name to SW Washington Healthy Families and their new website provides information about their meetings, purpose and resources. They work collaboratively to promote breastfeeding practices throughout Clark County, including working mothers who desire continuing to provide their babies with breast milk. Their meetings are open to all interested people and they will be meeting quarterly in 2022.

Your right to breastfeed


You can continue to give your baby the benefits of breastfeeding after you return to work.  National and state legislation requires that employers provide breastfeeding employees with “reasonable break time” and a private, non-bathroom place to express breast milk during the workday, up until the child’s first birthday.  Washington state law has expanded these rights for two years after the child’s birth.  These laws protect women’s rights to breastfeed in public places, including parks, buses, stores and government buildings.

Breastfeeding friendly employer

Employers who provide a supportive environment for breastfeeding employees enjoy many proven benefits including:

  • Lower absenteeism
  • Lower health care costs
  • Better retention of employees
  • Higher productivity and company loyalty
  • Positive image in the community as a family-friendly business

Employers implementing a breastfeeding policy

Public Health can provide worksites with free technical assistance to create a breastfeeding-friendly environment. 


If the employer is not accommodating:

Additional resources

For more information, contact the Chronic Disease Prevention team.