Breastfeeding is associated with health benefits for both nursing parents and babies. Breastfed babies have lower risks of health conditions including respiratory diseases, ear infections and childhood obesity.1 Additionally, breastfeeding can reduce the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic conditions for nursing parents.2
In Kansas, breastfeeding rates are significantly lower among Hispanic, Black and Native American parents.3 Parents with lower income experience barriers to breastfeeding including work obligations, a lack of social and cultural support, language and literacy challenges, and a lack of access to information and resources.4 In communities like Dodge City, Kansas, where 64% of residents are Hispanic or Latino, addressing those barriers and improving access to support and resources is crucial to driving more equitable health outcomes.5
To combat these disparities, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kansas is supporting Lactancia Latina en el Sureoeste de Kansas, an organization that promotes breastfeeding among Latin communities in Southwest Kansas, to bring resources to parents in Dodge City. Lactancia Latina en el Suroeste de Kansas, the City of Dodge City and UnitedHealthcare worked together to build a bench in Chilton Park to create a place for parents to breastfeed and to equip parents with access to local resources.
The bench provides a covered seating area for parents to breastfeed along with a changing station. The bench also features a QR code with information in English and Spanish that directs parents to organizations right in their neighborhood that offer lactation information and support. The goal of the project is to promote a supportive environment for breastfeeding, and to reduce inequities through education and access to local resources. Through this project, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kansas, the City of Dodge City, and Lactancia Latina en el Suroeste de Kansas, are increasing access to local resources and supporting healthy starts for families.
- Making the decision to breastfeed | Office on Women's Health (womenshealth.gov) Opens in a new window
- Potential benefits of breastfeeding, for mom and baby | UnitedHealthcare (uhc.com) Opens in a new window
- https://www.kdhe.ks.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2731/August---Breastfeeding-PDF Opens in a new window
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4410446/ Opens in a new window
- https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/dodgecitycitykansas# Opens in a new window