Advocate Voices

March Madness!

Robbie Gonzalez-Dow, MPH, RD, CLE, 
California Breastfeeding Coalition

March Madness is here! Around the country, people are getting ready to fill out their brackets for the annual NCAA college basketball tournament. In the world of breastfeeding advocacy, the tournament of removing breastfeeding barriers begins!


Great News- We Came in 39th!

Mary Woelfel, MPH, IBCLC, 
San Joaquin County

We are celebrating in San Joaquin County! The latest California Breastfeeding Report from the UC Davis Human Lactation Center and the California WIC Association shows we are now in 39th place among California counties for exclusive breastfeeding in our hospitals. Yay! Beat the drums! Cue the trumpets!


There’s no such thing as a free breast pump

Samantha Slaughter, IBCLC and Jennifer Pettus, IBCLC, 
Sacramento County

At our WIC office in Sacramento – like many throughout the country – a lot of time is spent dealing with breast pumps – cleaning, inventory, follow-up, issuing to and teaching participants how to assemble and use, training staff, communicating with and educating providers, etc. All this despite the fact that both the cost to rent or purchase a breast pump has been listed as allowable items to bill for under Medi-Cal for many years. One can imagine the excitement in the WIC world when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed, requiring health plans to cover “comprehensive lactation support and counseling, by a trained provider during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period, and costs for renting breastfeeding equipment.” At last, WIC could focus more time and money on breastfeeding promotion and support, instead of running a breast pump depot!


A Grandmother’s Gift

Maria Jose Hummel, MPH, MS, 
Santa Cruz County

Recently I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful woman with an amazing story. I met Connie, along with her grandson Mauricio, at a potluck where we sat together after a health presentation. Her grandson appeared to be particularly attached to Connie so I made a comment about it. She also didn’t look like she could be a grandma! That’s when she started revealing her amazing tale of love and care for her grandson.


What Does California’s SB 402 Mean To You?

Christine Staricka, IBCLC, CCE, 

This morning, hospital administrators in California wake up to the news that the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 402, requiring that all maternity facilities in California adopt the Baby-Friendly Ten Steps or equivalent practices by 2025.


News & Research

New Report Reveals Violations of Affordable Care Act’s Breastfeeding Benefits

National Women's Law Center - May 21, 2015

(Washington, DC) A report released today by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) exposes at least 20 insurance companies that are violating the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) breastfeeding benefits and identified troubling trends in insurance company compliance that are likely to be systemic nationwide. NWLC found violations that include limiting coverage of breast pump purchases and failing to have lactation counselors in network.


Breastfeeding should be promoted to fight against obesity

GMA News Online - April 22, 2015

Breastfeeding is one of the most effective weapons against obesity, in that breast-fed infants are less likely to become obese in their adult years.

This was what Dr. Berthold V. Koletzko, current president of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and professor of pediatrics at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich in Germany, said at a recent health forum on early nutrition.


First 5 LA-Funded Hospitals Recognized for Reaching Baby-Friendly Status

March 16, 2015

Five First 5 LA-funded hospitals were recently recognized for achieving Baby-Friendly designation at the state’s premiere breastfeeding summit.

The gathering, entitled the California Breastfeeding Coalition Summit, is the “State of the State” meeting for professionals working to impact breastfeeding rates in California. It draws more than 450 attendees from various sectors that impact breastfeeding, including hospital administrators, nurse managers, nursing staff, representatives of community-based organizations, child care administrators, public health professionals, physicians and other health care providers.


Another breastfeeding benefit: Preparing baby’s belly for solid food

EurekAlert - February 5, 2015

CHAPEL HILL, NC – The moment of birth marks the beginning of a beautiful, lifelong relationship between a baby and the billions of microbes that will soon colonize his or her gastrointestinal tract.


Breastfeeding Past 2 Months Lowers Obesity Risk

Futurity - December 21, 2014

Infants at risk for childhood and adult obesity have a better chance of not becoming overweight if they breastfeed longer than two months.