Does your State have a Breastfeeding Coalition?

What: State and Local breastfeeding coalitions are there to support, educate and advocate for families, health care providers, childbirth educators and doulas. Check your state or county to see what they are doing for 2021! Many Coalitions are supported by The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) which is an independent nonprofit coalition of over 100 influential professional, educational, and governmental organizations that share a common mission to drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States. At USBC they help facilitate continuing education training and provide national support to State Coalitions.

WHO: The Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition (COBFC) is a 501 c nonprofit organization, with over 100 members. Founded in 1990, COBFC is a 100% volunteer-run organization comprised of Lactation professionals, pediatricians, nurses, doulas, public health advocates and families. At COBFC our mission is to increase access to breastfeeding support for everyone in CO. Check out our new 2021 vision, mission, and equity statement:

  • View: Breastfeeding is attainable for everyone in Colorado.
  • Mission: To educate, advocate and collaborate to reduce barriers so that all families can get support to achieve their human milk feeding goals.
  • Equity Statement: COBFC is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion to create and empower just, inclusive and equitable policies and practices that support human breastfeeding.

The coalition consists of a volunteer Board of Directors and 4 work group leaders covering Health Care, Community, Workplace/Child Care and Advocacy/Legislation. Our 4 working groups helped create 3 Colorado Breastfeeding Laws.

  • The Workplace Accommodation for nursing Mother’s Act (Colorado Revised Statutes 8-13.5-104) This law protects a mother at work for up to 2 years
  • Public Breastfeeding Law (Colorado Revised Statutes 25-6-302)
  • Postponement of Jury Service for a Person Who is Breastfeeding (Colorado Revised Statutes 13-71-119.5) This statute postpones jury duty for 2 years with a letter of offeror emailed to the county clerk .

The COBFC and Le Leche League of Mountain plains host a conference together every other year. The Colorado Lactation Conference 2020: Build Resilience to Navigate the Future was almost hosted with speakers Felisha Floyd IBCLC, Dr. Anne Eglash MD, IBCLC, Robin Kaplan IBCLC, and Laurel Wilson IBCLC, CLE.

As COBFC Chair for the past 4 years, I am heading into my third term. This year, we are focused on increasing our Equity work, training more Lactation professionals of color, funding our 2nd year Indigenous Breastfeeding Coalition of Colorado, supporting 10 projects across the state through our COBFC Mini Grant funds, continues to recognize Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care facilities and is hosting the 5th Annual Breastival this summer. I encourage you to contact your local state or county coalition and find out how you can volunteer!

About the Author

Katie Halverstadt is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Registered Nurse who is part of the Lactation team at Lutheran Medical Center. Katie teaches prenatal breastfeeding classes at Mountain Midwifery Birth Center, Lutheran Medical Center, and the Regional RN Obstetric Lactation Class. Katie, the Chair of the Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition, oversaw the creation of the Colorado Breastival, one of the largest breastfeeding events in the country, where over 500 families attend each year to enjoy a free day of activities, education and connections in the family. Katie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Northern Colorado.

After the birth of her first child, she attended Regis University in 2010 to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. As a 2014 nominee for the Florence Nightingale Nursing award, she understands that implementing a strong Breastfeeding Community is an important part for Colorado hospitals, birthing centers, and employers to help families reach their goals. breastfeeding. Katie is the proud mother of two wonderful children and loves leading her FREE weekly Breastfeeding Support group at Lutheran Medical Center.

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