Strong Start | Healthy Start

Strong Start | Healthy Start is an initiative of the Ingham County Health Department to enhance the health of African-American families and improve birth outcomes in Ingham County. We provide services which include home visiting for expectant and parenting moms and dads with a child up to age two. We also offer free health education workshops that are open to educate pregnant and parenting women, men, families, and the community.

Healthy Start Team
Health Officer
Ingham County Health Department

Deputy Health Officer
Ingham County Health Department

Regina TraylorMSN, RN, CNS
Director, Maternal Child Health Division
Program Supervisor
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Crystal P. TylerPHD, MPH
Strong Start | Healthy Start Evaluator
Program Director, Center for Child and Family Health
Michigan Public Health Institute
Alysia Osoff, MSN, RN, CEN
Senior Public Health Nurse
Fetal & Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Coordinator

Health Educator
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Fatherhood Facilitator
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Action Network Coordinator
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Health Worker
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Health Worker
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Health Worker
Strong Start | Healthy Start

LaShawn Sinclaire
Peer Advisor, Health Education

Rachel Reynolds
Peer Advisor, Health Education

Peer Advisor, Dads Matter Program

Administrative Support
Maternal Child Health Division

Quick Links

Departmental and Community Partners
Department of Human Services, Ingham County

Expectant Parent's Organization

Family Outreach Services, Ingham County Health Department

Greater Lansing African-American Health Institute

Infant Mortality Coalition

Ingham County Health Department

Ingham Great Start Collaborative

Ingham Healthy Families

Ingham Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition

Greater Lansing Clergy Forum

Great Parents, Great Start Program

Lansing Housing Commission

League of Women Voters

Maternal Infant Health Program, Ingham County Health Department

McLaren of Greater Lansing

Michigan Public Health Institute

Michigan State University, College of Nursing

Nurse Family Partnership, Ingham County Health Department

Parent-Infant Program

Pathways to Better Health
Power of We Consortium

Shared Pregnancy Women's Center

South Side Community Coalition

Sparrow Health System

Tomorrow's Child

Willow Tree Family Center
Ingham County Urges Residents to "Get Real About Breastfeeding"
LANSING, Mich. - Breastfeeding is legal, healthy and normal. That is the message the Ingham County Health Department and its community partners are sharing across the county and beyond in the latest campaign to celebrate, support and encourage breastfeeding. 

The campaign, which features local families, appear on billboards, movie theater screens, and in a traveling gallery throughout the summer. Ingham County falls short of national breastfeeding goals, especially among African-Americans. The campaign aims to encourage more women to breastfeed and to stick with it while normalizing breastfeeding among the general public.

"Most new mothers know that breastfeeding is healthy and try to breastfeed, but locally we do not meet important benchmarks for duration and exclusivity," said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. "This campaign recognizes that there can be challenges when breastfeeding, but it encourages women to seek support. We have many resources in our community."

The 2020 Healthy People goal is for 81.9 percent of infants to breastfeed, at least initially. Currently, only 73.4 percent of Michigan infants are ever breastfeed, and for African-American infants, it is just 54.9 percent.

"We made it a priority to include diverse mothers and families in the campaign," said Regina Traylor, director of the health department's Maternal and Child Health Division. "We featured members of our own community. That really resonated with people, and the response has been phenomenal."

The campaign was initiated through the health department's Strong Start | Healthy Start program and is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It was developed in partnership with Willow Tree Family Center, the Capital Area Breastfeeding Coalition and Redhead Design Studio. For more information, visit

The "Get Real About Breastfeeding" campaign will next be on tour the week of May 16th at McLaren Greater Lansing.


For more information, visit

About the Campaign
A Community Collaboration to Increase Breastfeeding Initiation and Continuation Rates

Breastfeeding is an amazing achievement. Not just for babies who benefit from the nutrients contained in real baby milk, but also for their moms, partners and families. The Get Real About Breastfeeding campaign officially kicked off on April 11, 2016 and will run until June 30, 2016. The campaign includes billboards placed throughout the community, posters, postcards, cinema advertising, a traveling gallery, social media shareables, and a website for moms and families to access breastfeeding resources.   The website also shares personal stories from local moms, featured in the campaign, around topics such as The First Six Weeks, The Hardest Part, Pumping and Bottle Feeding, Health Benefits, Making the Commitment, Nursing in Public, Partner Support, and Getting Help.

Get Real About Breastfeeding celebrates mothers who breastfeed, acknowledging that breastfeeding is often not easy, reminding people that breastfeeding in public is legal, healthy, and normal, and encouraging others to provide support to breastfeeding moms and families.  The campaign seeks to combat misinformation and hurdles, encourage moms to start breastfeeding and continue breastfeeding, and normalize breastfeeding in our culture.

For additional information about the Get Real About Breastfeeding campaign, contact:
  • Regina Traylor, Director, Maternal Child Health Division, Ingham County Health Department
  • Tracie Bolton, Coordinator, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Ingham County Health Department
  • Nicole Greiter, Executive Director, Willow Tree Family Center
  • Isaias Solis, Healthy Start Supervisor, Ingham County Health Department
For media inquires and interviews related to the Get Real About Breastfeeding campaign, contact:
  • Amanda Darche, Health Communications Specialist, Ingham County Health Department

Willow Tree Family Center

Capital Area Breastfeeding Coalition

Redhead Design Studio

Strong Start | Healthy Start

Expectant Parents Organization

Women, Infants, & Children (WIC)

For more information, visit

Personal Breastfeeding Stories
Featured Story: A'jia, Making The Commitment
A'Jai - Despite, not having anyone else in my family breastfeed, breastfeeding was the way that I decided to feed my daughter. While I was pregnant with my daughter, my mind was already set on breastfeeding. I didn't even contemplate or consider formula.  I was really excited to breastfeed during my pregnancy, but after I had her breastfeeding was not what I imagined it would be. It was super rough in the beginning, and I had no idea that I would need education to feed my daughter. I thought it would come naturally because it IS natural, but actually doing it required someone to teach me.

The first few weeks I had to supplement with formula because my daughter and I really couldn't get the hang of it. She had a hard time latching, and I had decreased milk supply from supplementation.

Even though I was supplementing, I was determined to get to the point of exclusively breastfeeding. We worked on it every day at every feeding. I remember one time she was cluster feeding, and I literally spent the whole day feeding. We spent hours at home with her at the breast, and this happened for two days. In those 2 days, we didn't use formula at all! I remembered hearing that the more milk she took out the more I would make. So, when this growth spurt occurred, I knew this was the perfect time for her to take out as much milk as possible.
On the last day of cluster feeding, I remember the very first feeding where she was completely satisfied. She wasn't fussing, crying, and looking for more. She was calm and happy, and she looked up and smiled at me! It blew my mind! This was the first time I was able to fully satisfy her, and I just couldn't believe it. Each time I fed her she was still so happy, and so was I. Her reaction at the end of our feedings was so much different than they were when I didn't have enough milk, and I was ecstatic!

Ever since those two days when she was 1 month old, she has been exclusively breastfed. She is 3 months now, and I plan to continue breastfeeding her until she is 2 years old.

My advice for new moms is this: Never give up, even on your worst day!

To get help reaching your breastfeeding goals, click  HERE.

For more Get Real About Breastfeeding stories, visit 

Campaign Images
Breastfeeding in Public is Legal, Healthy, and Normal.
All images appearing in the Get Real About Breastfeeding website are the property of the Ingham County Health Department and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.  The images may not be manipulated without the written permission of the Ingham County Health Department.



Facebook Shareables

 Twitter Shareables

For more information, visit

Get Involved!
Actions That You Can Take to Support the Campaign
This campaign was developed as a collaborative effort among various agencies and community stakeholders to:
  1. Combat misinformation and hurdles about breastfeeding;
  2. Encourage moms to start breastfeeding, and to continue breastfeeding past one year; and
  3. Normalize breastfeeding in our culture.
The success and sustainability of this campaign also relies on YOU! You are important to this campaign.  Here are the many ways that you can become involved with the Get Real About Breastfeeding Campaign. 

1. Visit Get Real About Breastfeeding Website


Visit the website and browse through all of the great stories and resources.  Share the website with other breastfeeding families, your colleagues, friends, neighbors, and other people in the community and encourage them to visit and also share with their networks.


2. Congratulate Breastfeeding Moms and Families


Remember that breastfeeding in public, and breastfeeding in general, is legal, healthy and normal.  Breastfeeding is hard work.  If you see a breastfeeding mom or family, give them your support and encourage them to continue breastfeeding. 

3. Place Posters in Your Agency/Business


Help us spread the message by placing 18X24 posters and passing out postcards in your agency or business. Posters and postcards can be picked up in the following locations:

Ingham County Health Department, Maternal Child Health Division,
5303 South Cedar Street, Lansing, MI 48909. Phone: 517-887-4322

Willow Tree Family Center,
3333 South Pennsylvania Avenue, Lansing, MI 48910. Phone: 586-806-WTC

If you are interested in hosting the traveling gallery at your site, which consists of 6- 24X36 mounted posters on black easel stands, contact Isa Solis via e-mail at or by phone at 517-272-4104.

4. Share This E-Message & Share Images on   Social Media


Forward this e-message, which contains detailed informaion about the campaign to your networks.  You can also download some of the Facebook and Twitter shareables and share these images and stories on your social media pages.  This is a great way to digitally connect with your network and share the Get Real About Breastfeeding message.

5. Spread the Word


Spread the Get Real About Breastfeeding campaign message that breastfeeding is legal, healthy, and normal.  Share our posters, postcards, social media shareables, forward this message, talk to your peers about the importance of breastfeeding, and help us #normalizebreastfeeding. 

Media Coverage
Campaign Receives Overwhelming Positive Response from Community and Media
We would like to express our gratitude for the excellent coverage that the Get Real About Breastfeeding Campaign has received from local and state media. The positive exposure given on local news segments provides the community with a nice introduction to the campaign, its goals, and the stories of breastfeeding moms. It further reaffirms that breastfeeding is legal, healthy, and normal.

For media inquires and interviews related to the Get Real About Breastfeeding campaign, contact:
  • Amanda Darche, Health Communications Specialist, Ingham County Health Department
Media Stories

Breastfeeding mothers gather on Capitol lawn for Nationwide Nurse-in
By Emily Rose Bennett
Published: May 1, 2016

Nationwide campaign aimed to end discrimination surrounding breastfeeding
By Alysia Burgio
Published: April 29, 2016

New campaign aimed at breastfeeding
By Ann Pierret
Published: April 21, 2016

New campaign aimed at breastfeeding
By Fox47 News
Published: April 21, 2016


For more information, visit