The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition (SDCBC) has been supporting mothers and babies since 1994 when there was little breastfeeding knowledge in the medical community, almost no breastfeeding education in most medical schools, and not enough lactation consultants to meet the needs of the community. Recognizing these challenges, a group of concerned individuals came together to do something about it and formed the SDCBC.
“It all began with a spark,” said Dr. Jim Murphy, current president of SDCBC. “The spark quickly became an ember and then a flame. We were excited to create change and guide breastfeeding efforts in the state.”
Over the years, SDCBC has launched the breastfeeding-friendly business sticker program, recognized breastfeeding-friendly workplaces, distributed breastfeeding resource guides in both English and Spanish, distributed a monthly newsletter, and offered continuing education and updated resources for medical professionals. SDCBC’s most recent accomplishment includes receiving the Golden Nugget Award at the California Breastfeeding Coalition Summit for their excellence in reducing a key barrier to breastfeeding.
The 2016 Golden Nugget Award is in recognition of SDCBC’s BREEAST Program: Breastfeeding Referral, Equipment, Education, Advocacy and Support team. The primary goal of the program is to meet the needs of mothers and infants in high risk of breastfeeding failure by providing or arranging for breastfeeding equipment and supplies, education, support, referral and coordination.
“With the education and support from the SDCBC I was able to breastfeed my son for two and a half years. I thought I would quit at six months,” said To-wen Tseng, a local mother who struggled with a non-breastfeeding friendly workplace environment.
The SDCBC hopes to develop a Regional Lactation Support Program for high risk infants and mothers that can be used in other regions of California and around the country. The SDCBC will allow ready access to this program through meetings and the internet.
Dr. Murphy encourages fellow local teams with a heart for living well to attract members to their coalition groups by speaking to colleagues who may be willing to support healthcare activities, and invite them to a coalition event or meeting to observe or even volunteer.
"The more supporters we have to our cause, the greater our chances of accomplishing our goals!"
Article written by To-wen Tseng, San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition