November 2015 - In This Issue:



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 [email protected] or  206-838-8655


For more information about the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington:




Abstracts from The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine 20th Annual International Meeting Los Angeles, California October 16-18, 2015
from Breastfeeding Medicine

from Journal of Human Lactation



WithinReach Breastfeeding & WIC Materials

from University at Albany, State University of New York

Breast Pumps and Insurance Coverage: What You Need To Know from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity State Program Breastfeeding Highlights from the CDC

Free Mobile App, "Pregnancy to Parenting: The most comprehensive pregnancy app that tracks appointments, pregnancy milestones, contractions, breastfeeding and diaper changes" from Lamaze International

Moving from Understanding to Action on Health Equity: Social Determinants of Health Frameworks and THRIVE

NCHS Data Brief: Births in the United States, 2014 from the CDC
Podcast on Starting a Donor Milk Bank: "Starting a Donor Human Milk Bank" from Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
Pregnant@Work: an online resource center that provides tools and educational materials about accommodating pregnant women at work from Center for WorkLife Law

TANF and the First Year of Life: Making a Difference at a Pivotal Moment from CLASP  

Next BCW General Meeting will be held
January 28 @ 1pm.

DECEMBER 18, 2015
Washington Coalition on Medicaid Outreach Quarterly Meeting
Renton, WA

JANUARY 11, 2016
Theatrical screening of the documentary, MILK
Bellingham, WA

JANUARY 20, 2016
FEBRUARY 8-12, 2016
Can you believe we are nearing the end of 2015? With the approach of the holiday season, we would like to thank all of you for your continued support of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington. 2015 was a year of growth, development and celebration-the BCW commemorated its 20th anniversary in March! Reflecting on this past year, here are some of our accomplishments: We hosted a strategic planning retreat in March; Reinvigorated the conversation around breastfeeding equity; And hosted several chats regarding the Affordable Care Act and its impact on lactation support for our Washington mothers. The BCW also celebrated World Breastfeeding Week with a social media campaign to bring awareness around breastfeeding mothers in the workplace, recognized two exceptional community members' with the Spirit of Service and Physician Leadership Awards, and convened a new BCW Coordinating Team to determine the direction of BCW efforts over the next couple of years.  
In 2016, the BCW will continue its focus on supporting local coalition's breastfeeding efforts and continuing our courageous conversations centered around breastfeeding inequities. We are excited to be hosting our next community engagement webinar in January with Scott Winn focusing on implicit bias.

Throughout 2015, breastfeeding has been in the media spotlight gaining attention for various different reasons. The BCW produced two blogs in the last month in response to some of the media attention. The first blog post was written after KUOW released an article titled, Why Seattle Moms Still Pump In Bathrooms. Our response addressed an issue that is both very relevant to mothers everywhere and was this year's World Breastfeeding Week theme, Breastfeeding and Work: Let's make it work! We spoke about the struggles many mothers face when attempting to sustain breastfeeding after returning to work, and what resources are available to help employers support and accommodate breastfeeding mothers. The second blog post was written by none other than this year's Physician Leadership Award recipient, Dr. Jody Cousins! Her blog post titled, Stand up for breastfeeding moms, calls attention to unnecessary formula supplementation and the role providers play as breastfeeding advocates. Dr. Cousins makes a strong case to support our families, providing suggestions regarding how the medical community can better serve mothers and babies. Both of these blogs are indicative of the larger breastfeeding landscape in our community, and what we can do collectively to bring attention and eliminate barriers to support exclusive and extended breastfeeding for all mothers. Read the excerpts from both blogs in the next (below) sections.

Thank you for your support of the BCW and for promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding
in Washington State,

Alex Sosa & Chris Gray

"Finding appropriate accommodations for women to pump at work that are suitable for both mothers and employers continues to be a challenge. Though there are no state laws to support breastfeeding in the work place, Federal Law entitles hourly employees to reasonable break times and to a private, non-bathroom space to pump.  And it is important to recognize that the Department of Labor encourages employers to provide breaks to all nursing mothers regardless of their status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Yet even with these laws in place, there is still a lot of room for employer interpretation and too often mothers find themselves with inadequate or inconvenient options. As we continue our efforts to normalize breastfeeding in our communities, how do we help employers-especially those with limited resources and space-normalize breastfeeding in their work place?

KUOW released an article on October 12th titled, "Why Seattle Moms Still Pump In Bathrooms" that brings to light some of the issues mothers face when trying to pump at work. Thank you to the companies and employers who have found a solution that supports their breastfeeding mothers' need to pump at work. Thank you, KUOW, for prioritizing the creation of a new lactation room and supporting a mother's desire to continue to breastfeed while at work. It is not impossible to find an appropriate space for pumping that works for both mother and employer; with a little creativity and determination, all employers can create private and secure spaces for their mothers to pump..."

Read the full blog post, A response to KUOW's "Why Seattle Moms Still Pump In Bathrooms" 

"As a physician who provides obstetrical and newborn care, I have some control over the messages that my new mothers hear while in the hospital. Fortunately, I also have the ability to write orders which limit formula use for medical reasons only. Nurses can call me, and as a lactation consultant I can also stage appropriate and baby-friendly interventions.

However, many dietitians, community-based healthcare staff, and breast-feeding advocates do not routinely provide in-hospital care. I can only imagine how difficult it is to know that your patients and clients, whom you have worked so hard to educate and prepare for motherhood, may be exposed to contradictory messages about breastfeeding at such a vulnerable time.

As breast-feeding advocates, we hear messages about the potential consequences of just a single bottle of formula, but we have little ability to stop that single feeding at the times when that influence is most needed. However, I do think that there are many important points to remember with regard to breast-feeding promotion in the outpatient setting..."

Read the full blog post, Stand up for breastfeeding moms 
New Implementation FAQs on ACA Breastfeeding Coverage, from HHS, DOL, and Treasury
The Departments of Health & Human Services, Labor, and Treasury have issued a number of FAQs about implementation of the Affordable Care Act, going back to 2010. The most recent FAQs Part XXIX  included additional clarification about the lactation counseling benefit, especially around establishing networks of providers. HHS also previously issued a Fact Sheet entitled, Breast Pumps and Insurance Coverage: What You Need To Know.

CDC's Vital Signs Report Examines Data from the National Survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC)   
The CDC recently released the report, Vital Signs: Improvements in Maternity Care Policies and Practices That Support Breastfeeding - United States, 2007-2013. This Vital Signs report examines data from CDC's national survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC), which measures the percent of US hospitals with practices that are consistent with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Key points in the Vital Signs report include:
  • 80% of babies born in the US start out breastfeeding
  • 6 in 10 breastfeeding mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than they intend. 
  • 14% of US babies are born in hospitals designated Baby-Friendly.
Percentage of hospitals implementing more than half of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, Source: CDC
Visit the Vital Signs web page to find the Vital Signs MMWR, fact sheet, and podcast. Take advantage of CDC's social media tools, such as the Vital Signs buttons and email updates.


WithinReach's blog, Making Connections, is a great way to stay up to date with health and well-being issues in Washington State, as well as the work of WithinReach and its affiliated coalitions. Recent posts include:
Subscribe to Making Connections to stay in the loop!  We would also love to include guest blog posts from our coalition members; please let Alex know if you are interested in writing a post about the work of your coalition or breastfeeding support successes and concerns from your community.

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.