Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding provides many benefits to both mothers and babies. Because of the known health benefits, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of your baby’s life and continued breastfeeding to at least one year or beyond as mutually desired by mother and child.

Happy and Healthy Families

Breastfeeding is a healthy, low-cost and sustainable choice. Research shows breastfeeding makes babies stronger, happier and healthier; the longer a woman breastfeeds, the greater the protection for her and her baby.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

  • Easy to digest and the most complete form of nutrition for babies
  • Reduces acute and chronic childhood diseases such as diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, meningitis, asthma, diabetes, celiac disease and even some types of childhood cancers
  • Reduces Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • May enhance cognitive development
  • Reduces anxiety and strengthens the mother-baby bond
  • Helps protect mom against cancer and diabetes
  • Mom returns to pre-pregnancy weight faster
  • Saves time and money
  • Reduces healthcare costs and sick days

Breastfeeding mothers need support from their families, friends, health care providers, employers and the society as a whole. With this support, women are more likely to initiate breastfeeding and achieve their breastfeeding duration goals.

How MCC Helps Support Families Who Breastfeed


  • Offers services provided by Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) that visit moms in their homes
  • Connects pregnant women with community-based doula services. A doula is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth.

Local and national breastfeeding resources:

Local Resources:


How MCC Helps Businesses Support Breastfeeding

Let your customers know that breastfeeding is welcome and that you are in compliance with city and state laws that permit breastfeeding in public and private spaces, anywhere that a woman has a right to be.

Breastfeeding friendly businesses provide: 

    • A Welcoming Environment: A breastfeeding mother should be treated the same as any other patron by the staff and management
  • Staff Education: The business trains staff to understand the law and handle complaints about breastfeeding from other customers.

If you are a business owner in the Philadelphia area and you would like to let your patrons know that you are a Breastfeeding-Friendly Business, get MCC’s “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” decal by submitting our online form.


How MCC Helps Employers Support Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding-friendly workplaces retain good employees, reduce sick days taken by moms and dads and lower health care costs. They also increase worker satisfaction and productivity.—Philadelphia city law and federal law requires employers to provide reasonable break time to breastfeeding employees for pumping breast milk in a private, non-bathroom space.

If you are interested in learning more about what it means to be a breastfeeding-friendly employer, please fill out an interest form. MCC is an experienced provider of technical assistance.

Here are some of the breastfeeding friendly employers that already benefitted from MCC’s expertise: Watch our Employer Spotlight Videos and download our Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Spotlight Fact Sheets.

Breastfeeding Friendly List

Maternity Care Coalition has been working to build a Breastfeeding Friendly Philadelphia by certifying employers and businesses who support breastfeeding. Learn more about Breastfeeding Friendly Employers and Businesses by watching our Employer Spotlight Videos and downloading our Breastfeeding Friendly Employer text spotlights.

Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses


A.L.Pine, Philadelphia

Bridge Street Bookshop

Blessed Margaret Home Of Castello Home for Crisis Pregnancies

Born Yesterday, Philadelphia

The Expressive Hand, A Pant Your Own Pottery Studio, Philadelphia

Karl’s Furniture, Philadelphia

Restaurants and Marketplaces

Brewerytown Taproom, Philadelphia

Buzz Cafe, Philadelphia

Chick-Fil-A Northeast Tower, Philadelphia

Dunkin Donuts(5901 Rising Sun), Philadelphia

Dough Boy’s Pizza, Philadelphia

The Flavor Spot, Philadelphia

Good Karma Cafe, All Locations in Philadelphia

Gryphon Coffee Company, Kensignton

Kimberton Whole Foods, Kimberton

J’aime French Bakery, Philadelphia

Le Pain Quotidien-The Granary, Philadelphia

Maize Restaurant, Perkasie

More Than Just Ice Cream, Philadelphia

Ooh La La Salads, Philadelphia

Passero’s Coffee, The Ben Franklin House, Philadelphia

Peddler’s Coffee, Philadelphia

Que Chula Es Puebla, Philadelphia

Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia

rybread, Philadelphia

Tribe Cafe and Grill, Philadelphia

Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia

White Dog Cafe, Philadelphia

Zuzu’s Kitchen, Philadelphia


A Mother’s Touch Daycare, Philadelphia

The Coche Center, Philadelphia

Diamond Cutz, Philadelphia

Early Literacy Academy, Philadelphia

Food and Wellness Network (FAWN), Philadelphia

Fox Chase Family Eye Care, Philadelphia

Hightower Buzy Kidz Childcare, Philadelphia

Kencrest Northeast Center, Philadelphia

L.T. Laundromat, Philadelphia

Little Einsteins Early Learning Center, Philadelphia

Mastery Schools, Philadelphia

Maternity Care Coalition, Philadelphia

Minds Matter Learning Day Care, Philadelphia

Noah’s Inc, Philadelphia

Oxford Circle Mennonite Church, Philadelphia

Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park

Right Steps of Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

Salon Pourquoi, Philadelphia

Sarana Nails and Spa, Philadelphia

Sprouts Preschool, Philadelphia

Swarthmore Public Library, Swarthmore

Temple University School of Social Work, Philadelphia

Trinity Memorial Church, Philadelphia

Quaker Diner, Philadelphia


Nominate  a Breastfeeding Friendly Business and/or Employer near you!


Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

Baby-Friendly Hospitals and Birth Centers reduce infant mortality and illnesses by increasing successful breastfeeding. The Initiative is based on The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which summarizes the maternity practices necessary to support breastfeeding.  A maternity facility can be designated ‘Baby-Friendly’ when it does not accept free or low-cost breast milk substitutes, feeding bottles or treats and has implemented these 10 specific steps. As of November 2017, 467 U.S. hospitals and birth centers have earned the Baby-Friendly Designation.

We work with local, state and national partners to create Baby-Friendly hospitals in the greater Philadelphia area. Of the five Baby-Friendly facilities in Pennsylvania, three are members of MCC’s Philadelphia Breastfeeding Promotion Multi-Hospital Task Force with the support of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, MCC leads this task force and works with all Philadelphia birthing hospitals to give babies a breastfeeding-friendly start. These hospitals joined forces and banned the formula discharge bag city-wide! Going beyond the city-borders, MCC facilitates the Southeastern Pennsylvania Hospital Collaborative under the Keystone 10 initiative.

Baby-Friendly Hospitals in Philadelphia:

To learn more about this city-wide effort, contact Katja Pigur, Director of Breastfeeding Services at MCC


Breastfeeding: It’s the Law

Federal, State and City Laws Protect the Right to Breastfeed

Breastfeeding in Public

State and city laws protect the right to breastfeed in public. In fact, Pennsylvania passed the Freedom To Breastfeed Act in 2007, protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed anywhere she has a right to be. Philadelphia has a similar ordinance protecting a family’s right to breastfeed. Breastfeeding and incidental exposure of breasts during breastfeeding are not considered a nuisance, indecent exposure, sexual conduct, or obscenity.

If you are a business owner in the Philadelphia area and you would like to let your patrons know that you are a Breastfeeding-Friendly Business, get MCC’s “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” decal by submitting our online form.

Breastfeeding Mothers at Work

Federal and city laws require employers to support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace. These laws ensure that a breastfeeding employee has reasonable break time to express milk in a clean, private and non-bathroom space.

MCC is an experienced provider of technical assistance and can help you comply with the law. For more information contact Katja Pigur, Director of Breastfeeding Services at MCC.

Breastfeeding Rights Questions

For public breastfeeding issues in the city:

  • Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
  • 215-686-4670

For issues at work:

  • Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
  • 215-686-4670
  • The Women's Law Project Counseling Service
  • 215-928-9801


U.S. Department of Labor provides an excellent overview of the federal law and resources for employers and employees.

Other resources:

Northeast MOMobile Classic &

Breastfeeding Support

MOMobile is a free and voluntary home visiting program that provides support and education to help you with the changes and challenges that come with pregnancy and parenting.

MOMobile promotes healthy pregnancies, positive parenting, breastfeeding and overall family health and wellbeing. You are eligible for services if you are pregnant or have a child under 6 months old and live in North, Northeast or Northwest Philadelphia.

    • Education and support during and after pregnancy
    • Breastfeeding support one-on-one or group
    • Access too medical care, mental health services, public benefits and emergency supplies
    • Information about healthy growth and development of your baby
    • Safe Sleep education and free cribs for eligible participants
    • Referrals to community services

For more information please contact:

Breastfeeding & Doula Program

North Philadelphia Breastfeeding and Community Doula Program

Thanks to the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, our community-based breastfeeding and doula program improves the health and wellbeing of children and families in North Philadelphia and beyond.

Our Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC) offer free, culturally connected breastfeeding
support to families via phone and in-home consultations.

Perinatal Community Health Worker Training Info

We also offer:

  • Support from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
  • Weekly Bellies to Breast Support Group (Thursday’s at 10:00am)
  • Breastfeeding and Childbirth Workshops throughout the community

A Community Doula is trained to provide physical, emotional and informational support to a woman and her family during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and the postpartum period. A Community Doula comes from the same community as the families she assists, providing them with more culturally and linguistically appropriate support.

Community doulas offer:

  • Information about childbirth and infant feeding options so families can make informed decisions
  • Continuous support during labor and childbirth
  • Assistance with skin to skin and breastfeeding initiation
  • Connections to other resources

Community Engagement

We offer birth and breastfeeding workshops and presentations throughout the community

We host free yearly trainings where participants have an opportunity to learn and share in a group setting. An environment of community, respect and trust supports a transformational experience.

Session topics include:

Community Doula Training

    • Communication skills
    • Coping measures during labor
    • Dealing with trauma and loss
    • Attitudes, beliefs and values

Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training

  • How your body makes milk
  • Newborn behaviors/feeding cues
  • Building breastfeeding confidence
  • Legacies of racism and oppression on breastfeeding

For more information please contact: