May 2016 - In This Issue:
NACCHO Breastfeeding Peer Counselors
Graduation Day at Tacoma's Urban League 


The BCW newsletter is sent to BCW members and partners every other month. 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:





Leveraging Mobile Technology to Increase Breastfeeding Rates in Los Angeles County



2016 County Health Rankings  by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Break Time for Nursing Mothers by Department of Labor

Breastfeeding Learning Community Year One Summary Report  by The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)

Next BCW General Meeting: JULY 20

JUNE 10, 2016
Seattle, WA

JUNE 12, 2016
From Milk to Table: how to feed a baby
Seattle, WA

JUNE 17, 2016
Kenmore, WA       
JUNE 20-24, 2016
Seattle, WA
JUNE 27, 2009
Mount Veron, WA
JULY 13, 2016
Kenmore, WA

JULY 20-23, 2016
Chicago, IL

JULY 29, 2016
Seattle, WA

AUGUST 2-3, 2016

AUGUST 5-7, 2016
Arlington, VA

AUGUST 8-9, 2016
Chehalis, WA

AUGUST 23-24, 2016

SEPTEMBER 16, 2016
Olympia, WA

SEPTEMBER 19-23, 2016
Seattle, WA

SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
Yakima, WA

SEPTEMBER 28, 2016
Spokane Valley, WA

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016
Tukwila, WA

Breastfeeding for Doulas - Online
Instructor:  Joy MacTavish IBCLC
Fulfill your doula breastfeeding education in this self-learning program

Since our last newsletter in March, the BCW has participated in a variety of breastfeeding "happenings" across WA State.  In March the BCW attended the launch of The Lancet Breastfeeding Series  hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was a terrific opportunity to hear from Dr. Cesar Victora , who presented new breastfeeding data highlighting the health benefits and underscoring the importance of policy interventions to increase and sustain breastfeeding levels.

In April, the annual DOH WIC Breastfeeding Coordinators meeting was hosted in Tukwila. The BCW participated in the networking session by hosting a round table discussion on "Building a Breastfeeding Coalition in Your Community."
And while on the topic of "community
C ONGRATULATIONS  to the NACCHO Breastfeeding Peer Counselors in Tacoma (see main cover photo). They celebrated the accomplishment of becoming Breastfeeding Peer Counselors this month under their fierce leaders, Delores Baccus (Public Health Seattle King County) and Lea Johnson (Tacoma Pierce County Health Department). The celebration provided an opportunity for the Peer Counselors to share their thoughts on their experiences as breastfeeding mothers and peers in support of African American mothers and babies, and why it is important to provide education and community outreach as a way to improve health outcomes for African American families through breastfeeding.
Finally, the BCW hosted their general meeting in Sunnyside, WA, with a special presentation by Sheila Schweiger, Public Health Nutritionist from the Benton-Franklin Health District titled "Community Engagement: Lessons Learned." This meeting was hosted at Yakima Neighborhood Health Service on May 6th. Special thank you to Natividad Mendoza and the staff at Neighborhood Health for opening their doors to the breastfeeding community. A huge thanks to Sheila for her enlightening presentation and for the members that took the time from their busy work and personal schedules to join the meeting. There is something about our breastfeeding community when we get together--it becomes more than just sharing. It is about making the connection that we all have a commonality and passion for the work we do in support of healthy communities. YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

BCW General Meeting in Sunnyside, WA

Call for World Breastfeeding Week & Other Events
Share breastfeeding updates or events happening in your community!
We would like to put a call out to our wonderful breastfeeding community to share any upcoming events or activities happening in your area. In preparation for World Breastfeeding Week, we will be gathering breastfeeding activities from across the state to post on the BCW website! If you would like to share an event taking place in your community, please include (if you have the information):
  • Date & time
  • Location & address
  • Contact person with his or her information
  • Short description of the event
  • Website link if you have one 
If your coalition, organization, or community will be hosting events outside of World Breastfeeding Week, we would love to hear about them as well. To share any upcoming events, email Chris Gray at  

Save the Date
"Excellence in Care with the Ten Steps" is coming to Moses Lake!
Samaritan Hospital will be bringing Molly Pessl of Evergreen Perinatal Education to Moses Lake in August. She will be presenting her 2-day " Excellence in Care with the Ten Steps" on August 2-3 and August 23-24. Big Bend Community College will be hosting the event in their ATEC building. The trainings will be open to Central-Eastern Washington hospitals, clinics, health districts, WIC, Maternal Support Services and other interested community organizations, providers and individuals.

For more information about the course and registration information, take a look at the event flier here.
Looking for Breastfeeding Education Opportunities?
"Foundations for Best Practice in Lactation Care" is a great course to help support your breastfeeding community!
The Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations will be hosting two sessions of the series,  Foundations for Best Practice in Lactation Care Instructed by Molly Pessl, BSN, IBCLC, the course is a five-day in-person program for anyone who works with new mothers and their newborns. This course is also a great first step for those that are just beginning their journey to becoming a lactation consultant or an IBCLC. Completion of the course provides 45 theoretical hours toward the IBLCE exam requirements. For more detailed information about Foundations for Best Practice in Lactation Care, visit the website or view the included flier.

The Simkin Center is committed to providing scholarships to expand lactation support in marginalized communities. For more information about the scholarships available and how to apply, contact the Simkin Center

Upcoming course dates:
  • June 20-24
  • September 19-23

Virtual Lactation Happening in WA State

MultiCare Health System  is now offering statewide virtual lactation support. The program launched November 2015 and offers breastfeeding mothers "face-to-face" care through video chat on a computer, smartphone or tablet. Virtual consultations allow for families to receive care at their convenience in their home, at work, or anywhere else. Families meet virtually with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, who is  able to diagnosis, treat, and even write a prescription when appropriate.  Currently the fee for MultiCare's Virtual Lactation Consultation is $35 for a 45 minute visit. MultiCare will also bill the patient's insurance. Care is available to non-MultiCare patients. 

For more information, take a look at the Virtual Lactation rack card.
The Lancet Breastfeeding Series 
The Lancet Breastfeeding Series features Dr. Cesar Victora's current breastfeeding data and trends from a global perspective. Dr. Victora's research findings reiterates the health benefits, short and long term, that breastfeeding provides to both mother and child and underscores the argument for policy interventions as an important strategic intervention to increase and sustain breastfeeding for low and high income countries. Dr. Victora's research from the 80's helped coin the term "exclusive breastfeeding", the following is an executive summary of the Series:

"With a substantial development of research and findings for breastfeeding over the past three decades, we are now able to expand on the health benefits for both women and children across the globe. The two papers in this Series will describe past and current global trends of breastfeeding, its short and long-term health consequences for the mother and child, the impact of investment in breastfeeding, and the determinants of breastfeeding and the effectiveness of promotion interventions."

News From CDC: Information on National Minority Health Month
The theme for 2016 is "Accelerating Health Equity for the Nation."  The Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNOAO) is working to help raise awareness of the health disparities that affect racial and ethnic minorities across America. 

DNPAO Activities that Accelerate Health Equity for the Nation:
Increasing Access to Breastfeeding Support among Underserved Communities
For babies, good nutrition and optimal health starts with breastfeeding exclusively for about the first 6 months of life. To do this, moms need support from their health care providers, families, employers, and communities to initiate and continue breastfeeding. The National Immunization Survey shows that breastfeeding rates for African American women are lower than the national average. 

Baby-Friendly Hospitals
This initiative is designed to help hospitals implement evidence-based maternity care. Implementing these maternity care practices assures that all mothers have equal and ongoing access to breastfeeding support, both during the hospital stay and in the community. To increase breastfeeding rates among low-income and minority populations, CDC partners with various organizations to increase the number of U.S. hospitals designated as Baby-Friendly

From 2011-2015, CDC contributed to the successful designation of 72 hospitals through the Best Fed Beginnings (BFB) initiative, thus improving the hospital support and care provided to mothers and newborn infants. In 2014, CDC continued Baby-Friendly designation efforts through a hospital-based quality improvement initiative, known as EMPower

In the Community
While the percent of babies who start breastfeeding has increased about 9% from 2002-2012, it is still difficult for mothers to continue breastfeeding. Challenges include a lack of a private space and enough time to pump at work as well as a lack of low cost lactation care providers and support groups. In partnership with the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) , CDC has awarded funding to 69 local health and community-based organizations to provide peer and professional lactation support to African American and underserved women and infants. 

Programs to Reduce Obesity in High Obesity Areas
DNPAO works nationwide to make healthy living easier for all Americans. Through its Programs to Reduce Obesity in High Obesity Areas (High Obesity) cooperative agreement, DNPAO funds eight land grant colleges and universities. These schools are in states with (primarily rural) counties that have an adult obesity prevalence over 40 percent. Awardees work in one of two settings, early care and education or communities, to address environmental approaches to promoting healthy eating and physical activity. 

The Addressing Obesity Disparities Toolkit and Website provides information to increase the capacity of state health departments and their partners to work with and through communities on effective responses to obesity in populations facing health disparities. The primary focus is on how to create systems and environmental changes that will reduce obesity disparities and achieve health equity. Visit the accompanying website to get started with the toolkit.

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.