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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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BreastfeedLA developed our Lactation Education course in an effort to expand outreach and provide access to an inclusive environment for lactation education for underrepresented communities. BreastfeedLA saw the need for a culturally competent, intersectional, holistic, and financially accessible lactation course. There is a serious deficit of women of color birthing professionals, and even fewer women of color lactation consultants. It is pertinent especially that black women are equally represented in the birthing healthcare system, to combat rising maternal mortality rates and infant mortality rates in the black community. Current data form the CDC shows that black women are 3 to 4 times more likely than white women to die from childbirth related complications due to structural racism and biases. BreastfeedLA is dedicated to changing these outcomes by employing and training the new growing waves of lactation educators of color. 

In addition to utilizing the most up-to-date scientifically based research regarding lactation, the curriculum incorporates the identification of barriers and disparities in the healthcare system that impact marginalized communities. These disparities are highlighted throughout the course in order to prevent continued discrimination and ignorance in future healthcare settings. Instructors also concentrate efforts toward changing common language used in lactation to incorporate broader terminology. As the definition of “family” continues to expand, emphasis on using inclusive language when providing care is interwoven through each session. BreastfeedLA recognizes and respects that not all birthing and lactating people identify as mothers or women.

BreastfeedLA also recognizes the growing need for lactation workers who speak other languages. Future plans for the course include having the curriculum translated and taught in other languages to increase the number of lactation educators and consultants who speak the languages of our community. 

We are excited to announce a NEW recipient of our  LES Part 2 Scholarship . Part 2 Scholarships are awarded to current Lactation Education Specialists who, by receiving this additional intensive instruction in lactation, will be one step closer to sitting for the IBCLC exam.
Congratulations to Stevie Merino!
Stevie Merino wears a multitude of hats and identities. She is a Pacific Islander, Latina, and a Queer Woman of Color. She is an activist, a scholar, and a full spectrum doula. She is a mother to an energetic three year old. Stevie has her Master's Degree in anthropology with a focus on Pacific Islander birth traditions and birth disparities. Stevie has also done research on Birth Workers of Color in Los Angeles County and has presented her work at various academic conferences. She is co-organizer and co-creator of Long Beach Birth Workers of Color Collective that was birthed from a Doula of Color training to address the unique experiences, needs, and overwhelming disparities that People of Color face. Lactation support & education is such an important component to help address health disparities and Stevie hopes to be able to use this experience to further serve her community and beyond. For additional information visit
The reason that we are able to provide scholarships is due to the generosity of you, the loyal supporters of BreastfeedLA. As we celebrate Valentine's Day tomorrow, w e at BreastfeedLA want you to know how much we love you and appreciate you. Your support shows how much you love us, and support breastfeeding, everyday.

With gratitude,
Arissa Palmer
Executive Director
Upcoming Events

Tongue and Lip Tie: A Comprehensive Approach to Assessment and Care

March 02, 2019

“Tongue tie” (clinically known as ankyloglossia) is of great interest in some settings and is still quite unknown in others. Tongue tie can restrict proper lingual functionality and mobility. These restrictions can cause significant feeding difficulties for infants. Feeding challenges can be complex and multi-factorial, therefore a comprehensive understanding of infant oral anatomy can help clinicians better assess and care for the patients they serve. The speaker will present on signs and symptoms of tongue tie, related health concerns, assessment and treatment strategies, and the status of the evidence base. Dr. Shari Carroll and her team are excited to host Melissa Cole, MS, IBCLC from Portland, Oregon. Melissa is known for her research and clinical care around the topic of ankyloglossia. She will present up-to-date information regarding oral restrictions, assessment techniques, treatment and aftercare. This presentation is excellent for anyone that clinically assesses infants, works with feeding issues, and/or provides pediatric or lactation care. Space is limited so register early! 


March 08, 2019 

Please join us for a live webinar on Friday, March 08, 2019 at 10 am PST for a timely and informative talk about the basics of oral assessment for lactation support professionals.

Réka Morvay, IBCLC will discuss the anatomical and functional features to look for when performing an oral assessment related to breastfeeding. Newborn reflexes and oral anatomy must come together to make feeding possible. Variations in oral anatomy and/or infant feeding behavior may contribute to compromised development of orofacial structures, and can affect overall health and function through the lifetime.


April 2, 11, 18, 24, 30

This lactation educator series touches on all areas of the IBCLE Detailed Content Outline (for those preparing to sit for the IBCLC Board Exam) and meets the Step 2 Baby-Friendly USA Staff Education Requirements, 2016 Edition.
This 45-course in lactation education covers basic breastfeeding management techniques such as Positioning, Attachment, Physiology & Hormones of Breastfeeding, Milk Production, Common Breastfeeding Challenges, Counseling Skills, Creating a Prenatal Breastfeeding Class, Adult Learning Techniques, plus more!

California Family Leave Laws

April 11, 2019

This Spanish/English training will equip home visitors, health care workers, and child care providers who serve low income and new immigrant communities with information on Paid Family Leave and related workplace rights. Help us create a strong county-wide network of support which will positively impact the number of parents and families who can access these benefits.
The training will provide resources and connection to a statewide network/coalition for regular updated information and feedback when questions arise. This innovative, interactive training incorporates hands-on practice and role play in Spanish and English. Participants will leave the training with new skills, information, and resources that will enable them to help parents and families of Los Angeles thrive.

Latching onto Continuity of Care in the Breastfeeding World
with Emily Bernard

April 26, 2019

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.


June 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 2019
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. 

Our Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Education Program
Upcoming Events
Lactation Education at an Affordable Price!

Register Now!   March 2 ALMOST SOLD OUT
Tongue and Lip Tie: A Comprehensive Approach to Assessment and Care Seminar with Melissa Cole at Dr. Shari Carroll's Pediatric Dentistry at Redondo Beach

Register Now!    March 8th
Oral Assessment 101 Webinar with Reka Morvay

Register Now!    April 2, 11, 18, 24, 30
Alternate Day 5: May 7th
Lactation Education Specialist Training, Part 1 

Register Now! April 11th
California Family Leave Laws at California Endowment

Register Now!  April 26th
Continuity of Care Seminar with Emily Bernard
at San Dimas Community Hospital

Save The Date!   May 31st
Seminar at AHMC Healthcare, Inc. (Alhambra, CA)
Speaker To Be Announced

Register Now!   June 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Lactation Consultant Education Training, Part 2

Save The Date!   July 30th
Seminar at Dignity Health - Northridge Hospital Medical Center

Save The Date!   September 6th
Seminar at Millers Children's and Women's Hospital - Long Beach

Save The Date!   October 10th
BreastfeedLA 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration at Pickwick Gardens-Burbank

Save The Date!   October 11th
Seminar with James McKenna at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

More dates for seminars and webinars in 2019 and 2020 are coming soon. Keep a look out! You won't want to miss any of our upcoming events!

Interested in co-hosting a seminar or webinar with BreastfeedLA
in 2019/2020?

The IBCLE exam and new registration for Exam 2 approaching. Get your education hours completed now and prepare for your future!

For more information and to register for ALL of our events visit us at  
Legislative/Advocacy Updates
Hospital Breastfeeding Report Released! 

The California WIC Association, with partners at the UC Davis Human Lactation Center and the California Breastfeeding Coalition, released  Sustaining Change In Challenging Times: California Needs Innovative Breastfeeding Strategies , the 10 th  annual California hospital breastfeeding data report and fact sheets.

As reported by CWA, "Statewide efforts for systems change have improved the quality of maternity care in many California hospitals and substantially increased the number of Baby-Friendly hospitals throughout the state. As a result of these efforts, exclusive in-hospital breastfeeding rates have increased from 56.6% in 2010 to 69.6% in 2017. Recognizing the importance of high quality maternity policies, California legislators enacted a law ( SB-402, De Leon ) requiring that all maternity hospitals adopt optimal policies by 2025.Unfortunately, the most recent data show the pace of progress has slowed.

Immediate action is needed to identify the sources of the slowdown and provide targeted support when and where it is needed. Early intervention may provide the boost needed to address barriers, reinvigorate staff, and to continue progress towards providing optimal care for all California mothers and babies. 

ACTION:  Help CWA get the word out! Contact your local media, make a Facebook post, tweet! The report and fact sheets are available  here , as well as reports and fact sheets from previous years. Contact  Jodi  for helpful talking points, and with your questions." 
In celebration of Valentine's Day, and all the love you show us and our breastfeeding community, over the next few issues of the Bee we will be sharing our love by featuring some of our most dedicated volunteers and staff who give their time and energy to further breastfeeding equity everyday.
This week we celebrate our very own former Education Coordinator at BreastfeedLA, Inna Henry. Inna recently became certified as an IBCLC and she now continues the BreastfeedLA mission in her career serving families directly!

Spotlight on Inna Henry, IBCLC

Inna Henry (she/her/hers) is an IBCLC based in the San Fernando Valley. She serves lactating families at Balboa Pediatrics in Encino, at Integrative Pediatrics and Medicine in Studio City, and in the comfort of clients' homes. She also offers classes and support groups throughout the valley. Inna is passionate about serving families in a judgment-free and stress-free environment and has an inclusive practice that serves families with adoptive, LGBTQIA+, exclusively pumping, or other special needs. Inna also teaches prenatal classes and runs a weekly support group at Two Hearts Yoga in Sherman Oaks. Inna is mom to a spirited toddler and gets nerdy about growing, fermenting, and cooking her food!
Partner News & Opportunities
Calling All Doulas!
We are looking for doulas practicing in California! We are conducting a survey seeking your input about your practice and the possibility of Medi-Cal coverage for doula care. We are particularly interested in hearing from doulas of color, including doulas who are Black, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous/Native American. We are also particularly interested in hearing from doulas who currently do work with low-income and underserved patients, including patients on Medi-Cal or other types of public insurance.  Survey participants will be entered into a random drawing to receive one of eight $50 Target gift cards.

To be eligible for the drawing, you need to complete the survey before February 15, 2019.
For more information and to complete the survey, go to

For more information on local partner events visit our website at
Research Round-up
Delaying newborn baths increases rates of breastfeeding
A January article from the Cleveland Clinic and published in Science Daily has confirmed that delaying the newborn bath is beneficial for breastfeeding outcomes. While it has been standard practice for decades to whisk newborns off to a bath within the first few hours of their birth, a new study has found that waiting to bathe a healthy newborn 12 or more hours after birth increased the rate of breastfeeding exclusivity during the newborn hospital stay.

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 the NEW year with a NEW job that  you love!

BreastfeedLA is hiring for our Continuing Education Coordinator and Faculty Trainer positions!!! 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
Rosemarie Cervantes 
Jessica Claire
Tanya Colligan
Wendy DeLeon 
Judith Dunaway
First 5 Los Angeles
HealthConnect One/Birth Equity Leadership Academy (BELA)
Melinda J. Kiely
LA Best Babies Network
Jill Nighswonger
Joan Ortiz
Denise Parker
Linda Robinson
Gail Spivak
Katie Waters-Smith
Magdalene Whitman
Gwendolyn M. Brown
Wendy McGrail
Deborah Myers
Lina Nahue
Rita Shertick
Rebeca Pastrana Sheng
Patricia Spier

Jennifer Davidson
Linda Goldman

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!
2851 West 120th Street, Suite E #335,
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Phone: 323-210-8505