History

Group of mothers and babies at breastmilk-friendly childcare facility

The San Francisco Breastfeeding Promotion Coalition was founded in 1998. The Coalition grew under the leadership of two dynamic WIC breastfeeding coordinators who worked with San Francisco Department of Public Health staff and community partners to address lactation issues. Early work of the Coalition focused on hospitals that deliver babies, post partum support for new breastfeeding mothers in the hospital and at home, and professional education. This includes the training of lactation educators and later IBCLC lactation consultants and the establishment of breast pump loan and rental programs. One of the most impressive achievements of the early Coalition was the training of public health nurses, WIC and hospital staff to build a network of support for all breastfeeding mothers in San Francisco. Later the Coalition became a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. Because of budgetary and staffing issues the leadership of the coalition moved into the community through the Coalition’s Board of Directors. The Board continues to be a diverse public-private partnership.

The mission of the coalition has always been to improve infant health by making breastfeeding the norm. In 2005 the Coalition sponsored a breastfeeding day at Yerba Buena Gardens and 42 vendors participated. In 2007 the Coalition sponsored a professional conference at the Milton Marks Conference Center, “Breastfeeding as a Strategy to Prevent Childhood Obesity: Increasing Initiation and Duration Rates.” The conference was designed to respond to a recommendation of a San Francisco Board of Supervisors Task Force report on childhood nutrition and physical activity. The Coalition is now focusing on the protective aspects of breastfeeding and the implementation of the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Practice recommendations that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life and breastfed through the first year, which reflects the Coalition’s mission of making breastfeeding the norm. To do this we are broadening our focus to the workplace following the lead of the United States Department of Health and Human Services campaign, “Building the Business Case for Breastfeeding”, and targeting our education to a wider audience across all age groups. This website aims to reach out to our broader audience in order to make information and services related to lactation and child health available to the community.