California Breastfeeding Coalition
National Breastfeeding Month is coming to a close, and we have a lot to celebrate here in California. Local and cultural coalitions, donor human milk banks and community organizations throughout the state hosted events to protect, promote and support lactation. The national theme, This is Our Why, was embraced by everyone as it encouraged us to remember what has called us to this work. For the first time ever, our national celebration of chest, breast and human milk feed spanned five full weeks. Starting with World Breastfeeding Week and ending with Semana de la Lactancia Latina (Latina/x Breastfeeding Week).
Closing #NBM23 with Latina/x Breastfeeding Week
This is the first year we’ve had a formal celebration of Latina/x breastfeeding. Celebrated from Sept. 5 to 11 in alignment with Hispanic Heritage Month, Latina/x Breastfeeding Week had two key events, a kickoff highlighting the lived experiences of Latina/x parents, and a community-building event. The stories shared have been extraordinary examples of the impact felt by positive and negative comments made by people we love.
During the kickoff event, one mother shared that she was told her baby wouldn’t benefit from human milk after 6 months of age. Another said her family made her doubt whether she was doing the right thing. By coming together and sharing these experiences, we have all learned more about the value of evidence-based education, practices and — most importantly — support. It’s not just parents who need lactation education. It’s the whole community because everyone plays a role in supporting the success of a family’s breastfeeding journey.
Visit our website for stories on each focus week of National Breastfeeding Month:
- Our Why in honor of National Breastfeeding Month
- Indigenous Milk Medicine Week
- AANHPI Breastfeeding Week
- Black Breastfeeding Week
- Latina/x Breastfeeding Week
SoCal Baby Expo Benefits Mothers’ Milk Bank
Northeast Valley Healthcare Corporation (NEVHC) WIC supported Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys with a Baby Expo and Milk Drive in August.
Vieyra, who is also a CBC board member is tandem feeding her 3-year-old and 10-month-old. She said she first became interested in donating milk when she worked for a donor human milk bank in North Carolina.
She donated informally to a relative after having her first. She registered as a donor with Mothers’ Milk Bank San Jose after having her second.
“I’m glad I will be able to help many babies in need this time around,” she said.
Merced Breastfeeding Network Hosts Breastfeeding Graduation
The Merced Breastfeeding Network, with the support of Merced County Community Action Agency WIC, celebrated National Breastfeeding Month with a Breastfeeding Graduation and Family Resource Fair.
First 5 of Merced County, The Merced County Department of Public Health, and Valley Onward also supported the event.
The annual graduation celebration honored mothers in Merced County that exclusively breastfed for their babies’ first 6 months of life. Graduates received gifts, raffle prizes, and certificates of accomplishment from The Merced Breastfeeding Network, and the offices of Sen. Anna Caballero and Rep. Esmeralda Soria’s office.
According to Regional Breastfeeding Liaison Adourin Malco, the goal of the event is to encourage and celebrate breastfeeding families, raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding, and highlight all of the different support services available to families in Merced County.
“We are grateful for our 30 community organizations that were in attendance to discuss all of the wonderful resources they provide to pregnant/postpartum families and families with children under the ages of 5,” she said, adding that Caballero and Soria have supported chest, breast and human milk feeding for as long as they’ve been in office.
“Most importantly, we are so proud of all of all of the incredible breastfeeding families in our community that have chosen to provide their babies with the optimal source of nutrition in their early months of life,” she said. “We are excited for next year’s celebrations!”