Breastfeeding Friendly Initiatives

Virginia is working to support breastfeeding in maternity, early care, and workplace settings. This includes creating strong policies, services, programs, and professional resources. This helps staff create positive breastfeeding spaces for mothers, babies, and families.  Our goals are to:

  • increase the number of mothers who start and continue breastfeeding
  • promote exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months
  • promote breastfeeding with food until 12 months

There are many short and long term benefits of breastfeeding. To learn more about these benefits and public breastfeeding laws, visit VDH’s Breastfeeding page.  

Virginia’s Breastfeeding Friendly Recognition Programs:  

Early Care

The Early Care Breastfeeding Friendly Recognition Program was established with Child Care Aware-Virginia, Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, and Virginia Breastfeeding Coalition. We recognize early care sites in meeting five breastfeeding friendly standards.

  • environmental
  •  family support
  •  infant feeding
  •  professional development
  •  breastfeeding policy

Learn more information on Child Care Aware-Virginia’s site.

Maternity Centers

The Virginia Maternity Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation Program recognizes hospitals and centers that promote and protect breastfeeding. The program is currently on hold, but hopes to continue in future.


Virginia’s Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Recognition Program recognizes workplaces who meet up to 65 breastfeeding friendly standards. This includes lactation programs, breastfeeding policies, training, and supportive benefits. The award has categories of bronze, silver, and gold. Learn more from the Virginia Breastfeeding Coalition.