It Takes a Village: Mobilization Requires Collaboration


California Breastfeeding Coalition

National Breastfeeding Month puts every single one of us – and the work we do – in the public eye. Each year, when World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month rolls around, we have a choice: We can focus on our events and initiatives or we can look around us to see what else is going on.

Choosing the latter means we open our eyes to partner organizations, to stakeholders and to what is being presented to the general public. It also means we can  acknowledge all the work that furthers the shared goal of making breastfeeding accessible to all moms.

Here at the California Breastfeeding Coalition, we’ve been paying close attention to conversations about breastfeeding. We’ve been paying close attention to your work, your priorities and your accomplishments.

For example, the recent Breastfeeding Celebration Day at Lemoore Naval Air Station honored active-duty servicemen and women, and their spouses. Pediatric RN and IBCLC Paula Smith has been supporting families at the base for the past 12 years. In addition to honoring families, the celebration brought visibility to base programs supporting breastfeeding success for new moms.

Events such as these, showcase the importance of hyper-local events to bring awareness to community resources. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the advocacy work done to effect change for all families across the state through policy and practices. Events like WorkLife Law’s Breastfeeding Policy Summit that took place earlier this week and today’s webinar and live event on breastfeeding equity presented by the state’s Department of Heath Care Services. All of this work is critical to our mission. No event or initiative is too small.

In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, we’re highlighting just a few resources we hope bring value to you. We encourage you to share these articles, websites and informative materials to amplify the message that breastfeeding isn’t just good for moms and babies – it’s good for California.

TODAY: Leading the Way Toward Breastfeeding Equity

Our board president, Dr. Ifeyinwa Asiodu, and executive director, Robbie Gonzalez-Dow, are in Sacramento today, Aug. 8, to provide an update on national and state breastfeeding data to highlight success, challenges and opportunities to further support California families in their infant feeding goals during. Sponsored by the California Department of Health Care Services, this seminar is available online and begins at noon.

Kimberly Seals Allers Shares Lessons Learned in WaPo Op-Ed

Cultural change agent and author of The Big Letdown, Kimberly Seals Allers crafts a compelling argument in the Washington Post based on her years of experience as an advocate for infant and maternal health. Read her article to find out the six things she’s learned about making breastfeeding accessible for all.

Supporting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace

The Office of Compliance Initiatives, in partnership with the Wage and Hour Division, the Women's Bureau, and the Office of Disability Employment Policy, is hosting an online dialogue to gather input and ideas from employers and other stakeholders, including state and local policymakers, to assist employers and nursing mothers in understanding their responsibilities and rights under Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act – Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision. Join the conversation here.

Be Inspired: 1,000 Days Guide Motivates and Equips

True to its goal of equipping advocates, 1,000 Days has produced a breathtaking inspiration guide filled with content resources for National Breastfeeding Month. Find your inspiration here.

Workplace Discrimination is Real

Former journalist To-wen Tseng’s experience with breastfeeding discrimination at work reminds all of us why we can’t afford to slow our pace in formalizing lactation accommodation policies and practices in California. Read the Center for WorkLife Law’s sobering report on discrimination against breastfeeding workers for a deeper look at the grim realities facing lactating employees.

Traveling Trials Must Stop

Sacramento-based ob-gyn Juliana Melo’s experience with TSA agents harassing her for attempting to transport pumped milk is not an isolated incident – and it’s indicative of what happens in a culture where the act of breastfeeding is dismissed and under-valued. Read her ideas on what’s needed to change societal views.

Help Us Help You

This brief list is in no way comprehensive of currently available resources to promote and support awareness of National Breastfeeding Month. What are we missing? Tell us what resources you’re relying on this month and why, so we can share with our readers, followers and partners. Send your email to robbiegd.cbc@gmail.com


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