200 Attend Central Valley Lactation Conference

May 8, 2023

Group photo of women seated at a round table with formal place-setting.

Part of the Planning Committee seated together during the Conference. From left to right; Alyssa Bang (Intern), Sophia Salinas (Intern), Claudia Cazares, Lupe Manzano, Brandi Muro, Kristina Newton, & Rebekah Kirkish.

FRESNO — April’s Central Valley Lactation Conference brought together 200 lactation professionals and advocates from throughout the valley’s nine counties.

Held in Fresno, the third annual conference covered the following topics:

  • Beyond the Basics Of Latch: Support Strategies for Helping Babies When the Basics Aren’t Enough
  • Clinical Lactation Tools: Bottles, Tubes and Shields, Oh my!
  • A Role for All Lactation Care Providers to Help Breastfeeding Families
  • Supporting Clients Where they are at While Recognizing the Importance of Breastfeeding 
  • Front Line Lactation Support Advocates: Bridging the Gap from Inpatient to Outpatient

The Regional Perinatal Programs of California (RPPC) recognized four hospitals for demonstrating lactation-supportive policies and practices: Adventist Health Reedley, Adventist Health Bakersfield, Adventist Health Hanford, and Memorial Hospital Los Banos. Staff from Adventist Health Reedley and Memorial Hospital Los Banos were present to receive their awards.

“This is a major accomplishment,” said Lupe Manzano of the California Health Collaborative. “The Central Valley has 22 birthing hospitals, and they are all making great strides to improve chest/breastfeeding rates.”

Celebrating successes in lactation and perinatal care in the Central Valley is important to improving chest/breastfeeding rates in the region, Manzano said.

“There is so much good work going on in our region that goes unnoticed because the valley is so large,” she said. “To have representation from all nine counties in one room for an entire day opened opportunities for information-sharing and networking that can’t be duplicated any other way.”

Planning for the 2024 conference is already getting started. If you live or work in the Central Valley and would like to volunteer for next year’s event, email cvlactationconference@gmail.com