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BreastfeedLA is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of infants and families through education, outreach, and advocacy to promote and support breastfeeding. Your donation is urgently needed to strengthen and grow the work of BreastfeedLA. If you like the work we are doing, please consider giving today. Your generous gift will help offset our costs and will support our mission.
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For this week, I am passing the torch to Katie Waters-Smith to tell all of you about the amazing training we just held on paid family leave. Katie is our Advocacy Chair and a huge driving force behind our equity work here at BreastfeedLA----Arissa
On April 11 th , 2019 BreastfeedLA and the California Work and Family Coalition held a bilingual training about paid family leave laws. More than 120 advocates, home health visitors, public health workers, WIC staff, IBCLCs and community organizers attended.
Attorneys Aditi Fruitwala, from the ACLU, and Stacy Villalobos, from LegalAid at Work, began the training with an in-depth look at the protections available to California families who need to balance work and caregiving responsibilities. In the afternoon, Sophia Cheng, campaign director at the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, led a skills practice so that participants were able to practice how they will use this new information about paid family leave. 
Melisa Acoba, California Work and Family Coalition, and I (Katie Waters-Smith), BreastfeedLA, ended the day by providing a legislative update and ways for attendees to participate in improving paid family leave laws. 
Data shows that new immigrants and Spanish speakers have the lowest awareness of paid family leave in LA County.  Most of the training attendees were bilingual in English and Spanish, and all will do the important work of bringing this information to the communities who most need it. 
Participants committed to bringing this information back to their communities and organizations, to connecting the families they serve with legal resources, and to being part of the movement to improve paid family leave laws. 
Thank you to everyone who was involved in this important training! If you would like to be part of legislative visits and other efforts to improve our paid family leave laws, please email
We have such immense gratitude for everyone who helped and participated in the day.

Katie Waters-Smith
Advocacy Chair BreastfeedLA
Upcoming Events-Continuing Education
Protecting the Breastfeeding Continuum of Care in the Community: What We Can Do

April 26, 2019
With Emily Bernard

Continuity of Care is not a new topic in the healthcare world. It focuses on reducing negative outcomes such as safety and mortality across many specialties. When we apply this to breastfeeding we can translate this into what creates these gaps of continuity which contribute to less than ideal rates of initiation, exclusivity and duration of breastfeeding and the negative outcomes associated with this.
Improving breastfeeding is more than one person, agency or department can tackle. Partnerships and collaboration are essential to creating a continuity of care. We will discuss what partnerships mean to breastfeeding, where to look for them and ways to move forward together towards a common agenda of community continuity of care for breastfeeding.

Lactation Support In the High Risk Infant Population 

May 31, 2019
9am - 4:15pm

50% Full! Reserve your spot now!

 Featured speakers: 
Julie Matheney MS, CCC-SLP
L. Hope Wills, MA, RDN, CSP, IBCLC, 
Dr. Christine Bottrell Mirzaian, MD, MPH, CLC
Please join us for a day-long seminar focused on serving the high risk infant population. The seminar will cover sensory development, torticollis, longitudinal outpatient breastfeeding support, how to integrate lactation care in a pediatric setting, the role of the IBCLC in supporting the maternal infant dyad and the unique needs of babies in the NICU and their parents during lactation. This seminar will feature 3 amazing speakers and 4 incredible presentations!

Upcoming Events-Lactation Consultant Education

June 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 2019
Brandi Jordan
Taught by Brandi Jordan, MSW IBCLC

BreastfeedLA's Lactation Consultant Education Course is an advanced and comprehensive educational course that provides part 2 of the 90 hours as mandated by the IBLCE for certification as a Lactation Consultant. This information will allow graduates to have the background necessary to prepare students to pass the educational components of the IBCLC exam for certification as an IBCLC. 
To sit for the IBCLC certification examination, an individual must meet eligibility criteria in three areas: Health Sciences Education, Lactation Specific Education, and Lactation Specific Clinical Experience. This course satisfies one of the three requirements: Lactation Specific Education. 

For more information and to register for ALL of our events visit us at  
Legislative/Advocacy Updates
AB 196 Gonzalez, Support if Amended

As reported by our partner, the California Work & Family Coalition : "We are taking a “Support if Amended” position on AB 196 (Gonzalez), which would raise the wage replacement of Paid Family Leave. We support the intent of this bill to expand Paid Family Leave (PFL) wage replacement for low income workers. This is a key part of the effort to ensure that CA PFL makes taking leave affordable for all families. However, we are concerned about funding this expansion exclusively through increasing taxes on low wage workers and believe other funding mechanisms, particularly employer contributions and reviewing the current regressive tax structure and taxable wage ceiling, must be considered in order to significantly expand wage replacement.

We are in communication with the Author’s office and are committed to working with her, the Administration, our statewide champions, members, and allies to quickly address the critical need to expand wage replacement so that all workers can access the PFL benefits they pay for in order to care and bond. This is an especially important time to ensure that we expand the fund in a way that doesn’t overtax workers and assures the fund’s health and longevity. We request your support for this position.

Send letters of ‘support if amended’ (template attached) to: and please cc Toni Gomez at"
Governor Newsom has announced he will be taking the first step toward Paid Family Leave expansion by extending PFL from the current 6 weeks to 8 weeks of paid leave for new parents and caregivers by July 2020. This is part of a longer campaign to expand PFL in California.

Here is the budget language: 
With the Asian Breastfeeding Task Force, BreastfeedLA presented at the BREASTFEEDING AND FEMINISM INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 2019 ROOTS AND WINGS: LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in March of 2019. At the conference, the Asian Breastfeeding Task Force presented on a panel entitled “Normalizing breastfeeding in Asian communities in the US and China.” The focus of our presentation was on sharing the history and process of the community driven formation of the Task Force along with current and future goals and activities of the group. 
Emily Fung: Awareness of Low Breastfeeding rate in China (speaker from North Carolina)
Wendy Fung, To-Wen Tseng, Wendy McGrail, Cindy Young: Overcoming Barriers to Breastfeeding in Asian-American Communities
This week we celebrate the support and advocacy work of To-wen Tseng!

Spotlight on To-wen Tseng
To-wen is a former TV reporter turned freelance writer. She faced challenges when returning to work after maternity leave in 2013 when her first child turned 3 months old and her employer refused to provide workplace nursing accommodations. Since that experience, she has dedicated her career to speaking out about breastfeeding barriers in Asian-American communities. In 2018, she co-founded Asian Breastfeeding Taskforce.

We also want to congratulate To-Wen who has recently been awarded an Emerging Leader Recognition Award by the USBC for the National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening. She was selected from among a competitive field of leaders and change-makers. Thank you, To-Wen, for all you do to support families and their breastfeeding goals!
Partner News & Opportunities
For more information on local partner events visit our website at
Research Round-up
Is Maternal Vaccination Safe During Breastfeeding?
In light of the continuing anti-vaccination movement, a provocative new article provides a comprehensive overview of the potential risks of vaccinating breastfeeding women. The article, which determined that only smallpox vaccine and, in some circumstances yellow fever vaccine, are the only vaccines having the potential to cause harm to infants, is published in  Breastfeeding Medicine , the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.   Click here  to read the full-text article free on the  Breastfeeding Medicine  website through May 10, 2019. 
When you invest in one lactation student from BreastfeedLA, you invest in a multiplier effect that has a profound impact on Los Angeles' most complex problems of discrimination, poverty, and violence. 
It only costs $495 to champion one student to complete our 45 hour lactation education specialist course and $990 to complete our 90 hour lactation consultant course. However, we greatly appreciate gifts of any amount—a single contribution holds the potential to ignite the power of a future lactation consultant and forever change our world! 
When she is strengthened, she advocates for herself and changes her community.
Job Opportunities
Welcome in spring with a NEW job that  you love!

Check out NEW openings in the field!  Please visit our website HERE to see open positions !
Thank You To Our Donors
Thank you! 
Your generous contributions in 2019 help make our work possible.

Our programs are made possible through the generosity of our supporters like YOU! Join the elite and be recognized! Please donate   and help us to continue and remove breastfeeding barriers for mothers and babies in the greater Los Angeles area. Support BreastfeedLA with a monthly donation of just $10 or more per month. 

Leaders  of BreastfeedLA are those who gave $500 or more in 2019 or are monthly donors who support the ongoing mission of BreastfeedLA. 
Patrons of BreastfeedLA are individuals who gave $100-$499 in 2019.
Friends  of BreastfeedLA are those who gave $99 or below in 2019. 
Oluwapelumi Adeboyejo
Lori Berkemer
Michele Bragger 
Lindsey Rei Branker
Allison Casciato, MD
Leticia Casillas-Sanchez
Chris Carter and
Gabe Rotter
Rosemarie Cervantes
Jessica Claire
Tanya Colligan
Wendy DeLeon 
Judith Dunaway
Wilhelmina Gandionco
First 5 Los Angeles
HealthConnect One/Birth Equity Leadership Academy (BELA)
Melinda J. Kiely
LA Best Babies Network
Annet Mahendru and
Louie Gibson
Terri Nikoletich
Jill Nighswonger
Joan Ortiz
Denise Parker
Linda Robinson
Santa Barbara Foundation
Gail Spivak
Lucy Suzar
Katie Waters-Smith
Magdalene Whitman
Gwendolyn M. Brown
Jennifer Finnigan
Milo Gibson
Lauren Hollingsworth
Amy Wolff Kahan
Christopher Keyser
Wendy McGrail
Deborah Myers
Lina Nahue
Sally Pacholok
Daisy Perez
Rita Shertick
Rebeca Pastrana Sheng
Patricia Spier
Danny Toth
Christine Bennett
Hannah Brobst
Jennifer Davidson
Dr. Barbara Ferrer
Linda Goldman
Alexis Grizzell
Sara Hahn
Jeffery Kolodny
Terran Leung
Randy Moore
Arissa Palmer
Nicole Perlman
Zanette Pettersen
Anthony Salzarulo
Emi Weinsieder
We strive to make the Bee an informative source of breastfeeding education and events throughout greater Los Angeles and breastfeeding research and resources from across the globe. Send comments (we LOVE feedback), ideas, announcements and resources to us.  Just click HERE

Please note: Inclusion of an item in the Bee does NOT imply endorsement or support of such item by BreastfeedLA, unless specifically noted.
together we can create a healthier LA for every baby!
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Phone: 323-210-8505