August 2017 - In This Issue:

The BCW newsletter is sent to BCW members and partners. Please feel free to forward our newsletter to other coalition members, groups or individuals. 



Contact the Breastfeeding Promotion Manager:

Alex Sosa at or  206-838-8655


For more information about the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington:





RESOURCES from Human Impact Partners Project

How to Keep Your Breast Pump Kit Clean from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Supporting Nursing Moms at Work Website (Spanish) from The Office on Women's Health

Next Meeting: September 28th @12:30

AUGUST 4-6, 2017
Arlington, VA
AUGUST 28-30, 2017
Portland Metro Area, OR

SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

SEPTEMBER 11, 2017
Tacoma, WA

SEPTEMBER 12, 2017
University Place, WA

SEPTEMBER 13, 2017
Vancouver, WA

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017
Yakima, WA

SEPTEMBER 18, 2017
Shoreline, WA
SEPTEMBER 25-29, 2017
Seattle, WA

OCTOBER 2-3, 2017
Pullman, WA
OCTOBER 5-6, 2017
Bellevue, WA

OCTOBER 16-18, 2017
Wenatchee, WA

OCTOBER 19, 2017
Woodinville, WA

OCTOBER 24-25, 2017
Seattle, WA

NOVEMBER 9-12, 2016
Washington, DC
Hello Everyone, 
Every year in August, communities around the world, including our local communities, come together to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.   The start of this "official" celebration began 25 years ago when the WHO and UNICEF signed the " Innocenti Declaration."  This declaration proposes, through a number of principles and guidelines, the protection for breastfeeding together with the promotion and support of communities. It emphasizes the need to work together to improve and sustain the well-being of our children and families.
This year's World Breastfeeding Week theme, "Sustaining Breastfeeding Together", is about the power of collaboration to bring impactful change.   One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Fran Butterfoss: "...partnerships (collaboration) successfully bring people together, expand resources, and focus on a problem of community concern better than any single group or agency could do alone."  If we truly want to make a difference in our breastfeeding outcomes, we must take a closer look at what we value the most in our work as public health advocates. We need to protect human milk as the most important nutrition for our infants, promote a breastfeeding culture and defend it-no excuses! We need to support each other's efforts, big or small, to attain a positive and extended breastfeeding experience by removing obstacles in our village for all mothers, regardless of skin color or financial abilities. 
This year, Governor Jay Inslee signed a proclamation recognizing August as Breastfeeding Promotion Month . Yes, a whole month. Although many of our local promotion activities will take place during the first week of August, other breastfeeding promotion will take place throughout the entire month as well.  Make sure you support the efforts of the impactful national platform associated with Black Breastfeeding Awareness Week that takes place the week of August 25-31.
On the subject of "impactful" efforts, mark you calendars for September. The BCW and several local breastfeeding coalitions are excited to host Kimberly Seals Allers. She will travel across WA State during the week of September 11-14 and speak at a number of venues. More information to come soon. Kimberly is a consultant and expert on maternal and child health issues, focusing on the social and racial complexities tied to breastfeeding. She is also a journalist and has a terrific website called for families of color navigating parenting, breastfeeding, and more.

Another huge community effort in support of equity is the 2 nd Annual Breastfeeding Conference hosted by The Pierce County Breastfeeding Alliance. The event titled, " Be Part of the Change: Creating an Equitable Pierce County Breastfeeding Community," will take place on Tuesday, September 12 at the Environmental Services Building at Chamber's Bay. The event has an impressive line up of speakers, including the People's Institute Northwest who will share their expertise, creating opportunities for all of us to be accountable in our work and harness change for an equitable community.
Finally, there is no group more dedicated than Washington's Local Breastfeeding Coalitions . They are the TRUE champions of breastfeeding in our state. Scroll down, support their hard work, and attend one or more World Breastfeeding celebrations. A BIG SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE LOCAL BREASTFEEDING COALITIONS IN WASHINGTON STATE! You truly embody the meaning of this year's theme, "Sustaining Breastfeeding Together". THANK YOU for your trust, commitment, and generosity that you have provided to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding across WA State. 
Alex & Chris 
Let's Talk About Breastfeeding Promotion Month...
During the month of August, Washington State celebrates Breastfeeding Promotion Month and the partnerships that support the health of our families
Breastfeeding Promotion Month is a campaign from August 1-31 that calls for better policies and practices around breastfeeding in all areas of life. It empowers families to be knowledgeable of the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as to raise awareness around issues that prevent families from breastfeeding as long as they desire. Why do we need an entire month to celebrate breastfeeding and to raise awareness, you ask? Read on to learn more about some of the issues that breastfeeding promotion addresses during the month of August.

World Breastfeeding Week
Breastfeeding Promotion Month begins with World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). WBW is an international annual celebration from August 1-7. This year's theme, 
Sustaining Breastfeeding Together , emphasizes the necessity of partnership and collaboration across all areas within our communities to achieve optimal breastfeeding and health for our families. 

Black Breastfeeding Week
Black Breastfeeding Week (BBW) takes place during the last week of Breastfeeding Promotion Month, August 25-31. This year's theme,  Bet on Black , celebrates the joy of family bonds and perseverance in the face of challenges. The purpose of BBW is to bring awareness to racial disparities in Black breastfeeding rates and how breastfeeding can positively impact health inequities. For more information, read   'Top Five Reasons We Need A Black Breastfeeding Week'  and  c heck out the  Black Breastfeeding Week Website  for events taking place around the county.  Also, be sure to take a look at their  Facebook and Twitter
 during BBW.

2017 National Breastfeeding Month
In 2011, the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) declared August as National Breastfeeding Month. Every year in recognition of this month-long celebration, USBC hosts a social media campaign to encourage conversations that bring attention to needed policy and practice changes. 
This year's theme, Charting the Course Together f ocuses on how we can use data and measurement to build and reinforce the connections between breastfeeding and a broad spectrum of other health topics and initiatives . For more information on #NBM17, check out the USBC website .

Washington State Breastfeeding Celebrations 
Take a look at how Washington State will be celebrating breastfeeding and community
This year, the BCW would like to highlight efforts around the state to celebrate breastfeeding, families, and the unique communities throughout Washington State. In this issue, you will read about breastfeeding events that honor families and the hard work of our WIC and local coalitions to support, promote, and protect breastfeeding in Washington.

Ongoing  Events

Benton & Franklin Counties: Tri-Cities Community Health WIC is acknowledging their breastfeeding mothers throughout the month of August. Mothers will receive a certificate recognizing their breastfeeding efforts and be entered into a raffle. Some raffle items may include a carseat, breastfeeding pillow, breast pumps, and other items, some even donated by TCCH staff. Celebrations will be held in Pasco, Richland, and Basin City. Feel free to contact the WIC office directly if you have questions.

Island County: From August 1-7, Oak Harbor Library display window will promote World Breastfeeding Week. Partners from Community Action of Skagit and Island County Public Health collaborated to put together this beautiful display. Stop by and check it out in person!
Oak Harbor Library

Lewis County: The Public Health Reader Board will promote World Breastfeeding Week and Breastfeeding Promotion Month in August. WIC staff will hand out items, such as water bottles, bibs, spoons, and t-shirts to breastfeeding mothers throughout August.

Spokane County: Spokane Regional Health District WIC will visit four CHAS Health Clinics- Denny Murphy, Maple Street, Valley, and Hillyard, in the Spokane area. They will handout breastfeeding support books, WIC information, and flowers to each office. The local WIC offices will also be giving breastfeeding mothers different items, such as water bottles, bibs, and other breastfeeding gifts.

Yakima County: During World Breastfeeding Week, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences and Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic will present the annual Excellence in Employer Breastfeeding Support Award. Employers are nominated by employees and community members that feel that this employer supports and promotes breastfeeding. Date, time, and location are still TBD. 

August 1st

Community Farmers Market
N Market Blvd & NE Boistfort St
Time: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Omak Community Center
5th Ave E & Benton St S
Omak, WA 98841
Time: 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM

World Breastfeeding Display & Community Outreach
Chehalis Library
400 N Market Blvd
Chehalis, WA 98532
Two WIC IBCLCs will put together a World Breastfeeding Week display at the Chehalis Library. The rest of the day, they will deliver breastfeeding incentives and educational material to doctors' offices and businesses all over Lewis County.

The Launch of Yakima Moms Breastfeeding Group
Fiesta Foods Plaza
1113 E Nob Hill Blvd
Yakima, WA 98901
Tuesdays 3:30 - 4:30 PM
Yakima Valley Farm Worker WIC is debuting a new breastfeeding group on August 1st. Drop in every week during from 3:30 - 4:30 PM to connect with other moms, get breastfeeding questions answered, and learn from other moms about how to reach your breastfeeding goals. Bilingual support is available! Contact Elida Leonard at (509) 307-5249 or if you have any questions.

August 2

Bradley Lake Park
531 31st Ave SE
Puyallup, WA 98374
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Chetzemoka Park
Blaine St & Jackson St
Port Townsend, WA 98368
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Inchelium Community Health Center
39 Shortcut Road
Inchelium, WA 99138
Time: 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM

August 3

Swedish Ballard Family Childbirth Center
5300 Tallman Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 PM

August 4

Tumwater Historical Park
1122 Deschutes Pkwy SW
Olympia, WA 98501
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Lucy Covington Center
21 Colville St
Nespelem, WA 99155
Time: 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Big Latch On is a global event where families around the world gather in celebration to promote and support breastfeeding. Families breastfeeding together and offer peer support. This annual event takes place over two days during World Breastfeeding Week. Click on the city to read more about the event. Join a group and help break last year's record! 

August 5

Pybus Public Market
3 N Worthen St
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Time: 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Riverfront Park
507 N Howard St
Spokane, WA 99201
Time: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Click on the city to read more about the event. Join a group and help break last year's record!

August 7

The Harbor House on Percival Landing
217 Thurston Ave NW
Olympia, WA 98501
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

August 8

3131 Smokey Point Dr Suite #1B
Arlington, WA 98223
Time: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

August 23

Kitsap County Fairground
1200 Fairgrounds Rd NW
Bremerton, WA 98311
August 23-27: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

August will be the final opportunity to provide feedback. Your feedback will help guide the future structure and work of the BCW. Our goal in gathering feedback is to:
  • To provide an opportunity for the community to share their experiences with the BCW over the past 20 years.
  • To identify what aspects of the BCW's statement of work should continue to be part of a statewide breastfeeding effort(s).
  • To gather input on possible partnerships to improve breastfeeding outcomes in your community.
  • To gather input regarding the future of the BCW.
You can provide feedback in two ways:  Virtual Conference calls or Survey.
Below are the dates for the upcoming chats (conference calls)
You don't need to RSVP, just  dial  1-877-808-1928 and enter code  2732 to join the chat!
Wednesday, August 9 : 9:00 -10:00 AM
Tuesday, August 29: 3:00 - 4:00 PM
The chats are virtual space for you to share your thoughts and ideas regarding the BCW and breastfeeding efforts. For the past two months these chats have provided great discussions regarding partnerships and non-profit status, and how either can  potentially impact a future statewide breastfeeding effort, like the BCW. A lot has been shared about current and past BCW activities (equity webinars, annual meeting) and resources (website, materials and support to local coalitions). Many have expressed that they feel that these activities should continue.
Below are some of the questions we are using to guide our virtual meetings. These virtual chats are open meetings. Feel free to come with questions as well!
  • What partnerships in your community (county or statewide) do you feel are necessary to improve your breastfeeding efforts?
  • What work/aspects of a statewide breastfeeding coalition (BCW) should continue?
  • Do you feel the BCW should be (housed) under an organization or be its own entity? .
Can't make the virtual chats?  Not interested in being part of a chat?

Consider providing feedback online via our survey. We are using the same questions listed above.  Survey will close, August 31st.

Thank you for your time and feedback; and for being part of this important effort.

All the best!


WithinReach's blog,  Making Connections, is a great way to stay up to date with health and well-being issues in Washington State, as well as the work of WithinReach and its affiliated coalitions. Recent posts include:
Subscribe to Making Connections to stay in the loop!  We would also love to include guest blog posts from our coalition members; please let Alex know if you are interested in writing a post about the work of your coalition or breastfeeding support successes and concerns from your community.

Alex Sosa & Chris Gray
Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington
A Program of WithinReach
Promoting, protecting & supporting breastfeeding as a vital part
of the health and development of children and families. 

The Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington is a program of WithinReach, a statewide  non-profit organization making the connections Washington families need to be healthy. The Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington is funded by the Washington State Department of Health Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The Washington State WIC Nutrition Program does not discriminate. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.