It’s Only Natural – New Breastfeeding Campaign

Today, Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA announced the launch of It’s Only Natural, a new public education campaign that aims to raise awareness among African American women of the importance of and benefits associated with breastfeeding and provide helpful tips.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health collaborated on the breastfeeding campaign. It’s Only Natural helps African American women and their families understand the health benefits of breastfeeding — not just for babies, but for moms too. At the campaign’s website women will find information on topics such as addressing breastfeeding myths, overcoming challenges, and finding support, as well as video testimonials from breastfeeding moms.

Although recent information indicates that breastfeeding rates among African American women are increasing, there is still a significant difference in the number of African American women who begin and continue breastfeeding their children compared with other ethnicities. It’s Only Natural will help new moms make the choice to breastfeed and will encourage them to seek support.

The website also includes resources for conducting community-based breastfeeding support sessions. Posters, fact sheets, and a breastfeeding session leader’s guide will help communities provide hands-on support for breastfeeding mothers.

Please take a moment to visit the It’s Only Natural website and tell your colleagues, partners, and friends about the valuable information available to African American women and their families.

Substance Exposed Newborn – Call To Action Workshop

Regional workshop for Northwest Florida on the Substance Exposed Newborn to be held at Lakeview Center on April 26th – 8:30 am – 4 pm.  This meeting is an outgrowth of the wonderful dialogue started at the ECABS Methadone presentation last November.

Mission: To reduce the Prevalence of Substance Exposed Newborns by promoting a collaborative community System of Care

There will be presentations on the following topics:

  • Keynote: What should we include in a Community System of Care for these Infants?
  • SEN: a Growing Epidemic—How we got here and what we are doing about it.  – Dr Irv Williams —Lakeview Center Inc
  • The Effects of Opioids and Methadone on the fetus – Dr. Julie DeCesare — Seton Center
  • How to handle these infants once they go home – Dixie Morgese – Healthy Start Coalition, Daytona Beach
  • Community Workgroup to begin identifying gaps in OUR SEN Community System of Care

There is a downloadable flyer available here.

Developing a Successful Hospital Lactation Program

The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) will host a free webinar, Developing a Successful Hospital Lactation Program, on January 10th at 6pm EST. Presented by Rebecca Mannel, BS, IBCLC, FILCA, the presentation will describe key elements in developing and maintaining a successful hospital lactation service. Following the session, participants will be able to identify key elements of lactation programs of interest to hospital administrators; calculate hospital staffing needs; identify key elements of a hospital lactation service; and identify a hospital policy needed at the participant’s facility. For more information, or to register, go to the ILCA website.  Note there are several FREE upcoming Webinars on this webpage.

ECABS president co-authors book on infant care

Miriam Chickering and Ronda Yoder (president of ECABS) recently released a new book entitled The Gentle Art of Mothering: A Christian Guide to Infant Care. As many of you know, this book has been in the works for the past two years. Initially, they began with a need to write an evidenced-based mothering book from a Biblical framework for Christian moms. The book has grown into much more. It takes a balanced approach that will help you choose the best combination of parenting techniques for your unique family. This book offers a practical, evidence-based framework for parenting that describes a place where God’s love and grace operate freely in family relationships.

They have a Facebook page. The book is available at Amazon and CreateSpace. You can contact Ronda at drryoder”at” with any feedback about the book. You can also follow them on Twitter @GentlyMothering.

New Links to Membership and Donations

We have finally been able to add links for membership and donation options. We are working with PayPal to provide online opportunities to donate and start or renew membership in ECABS. The links are available in the Right sidebar on any page of the website as well as on the Join page, where you can download an application to join. We want to make the form accessible online as soon as we can, to even further automate the process.

IBCLCs Help Prevent Breast Cancer

Once again, the land is awash in October pink, as the nation focuses on Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As breastfeeding experts, the members of the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA) applauds efforts to raise breast cancer awareness and raise funds to explore ways to prevent and cure this disease that affects close to one in eight women.

Most research efforts to date have focused on early detection and treatment and thankfully, progress is being made. There is also evidence that many cases of breast cancer can actually be prevented. The National Cancer Institute cites two health behaviors that may reduce the risk of breast cancer—exercise and breastfeeding. The Susan G Komen foundation notes that breastfeeding appears to lower the risk of both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative tumors with the strongest protection in premenopausal breast cancers.

A study published by the American Association for Cancer Research, concluded that breastfeeding may reduce the incidence of a particularly aggressive form of cancer found predominantly in black women in the United States. Women who give birth to more than one child but do not breastfeed are at increased risk of developing this particular type of cancer. However, the link disappears when women who give birth to multiple children breastfeed. The data suggest that black women may have a higher incidence of this aggressive form of cancer because they tend to have more children and are less likely to breastfeed.

The vast majority of women of all races enter the hospital with the intention to breastfeed. Sadly, few infants leave the hospital without being supplemented with formula, a practice which is strongly related to decreased duration and intensity of breastfeeding. Many women who do successfully establish breastfeeding wean before they had intended when they encounter breastfeeding challenges related to their return to work or school.

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) can help mothers meet their own breastfeeding goals, decreasing their risk of breast cancer, as well as ovarian cancer, and blanketing their infants with protection from many communicable and chronic diseases. A report from the Institute of Medicine recommends that all pregnant and new mothers have access to professional breastfeeding assistance and the US Surgeon General recommends that mothers have access to IBCLCs. In August of this year, access to breastfeeding counseling and support became law as a provision of the Affordable Care Act, although implementation of that coverage is spotty as yet.

IBCLCs help prevent breast cancer by helping mothers succeed in breastfeeding. Every cancer prevented is a cancer that does not need a cure. IBCLCs are internationally credentialed health care professionals with the skills needed to support breastfeeding. IBCLCs provide prenatal education and timely assistance in hospitals, health clinics, and WIC agencies. For information about becoming an IBCLC or to locate an IBCLC in your area, contact USLCA at

Breastfeeding is Bipartisan: Ask Your Candidates Where They Stand!

It’s time for our candidates to tell us where they stand on the legislation and policies that moms need and deserve to be successful in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals!

Although you’ve sent over 13,000 letters to Congress in support of theBreastfeeding Promotion Act of 2011, and more than 3,600 letters to saveWIC peer counseling funding, bipartisan support is needed to make real progress. And we all know that in an election year, the odds of getting both parties on the same page are, well, not favorable…

That’s why we are thrilled to launch the “Breastfeeding is Bipartisan: Tweet Your Candidates” campaign.

The time is right: members of Congress and their opponents are out in our communities, talking to the public about the issues that matter. With just a few simple steps, you can ask them to stand up for breastfeeding families…while also educating them about why breastfeeding is a bipartisan issue, and what types of protection and support will really make a difference.

To make it easy, we’ve created a state-by-state tool with a built-in custom Tweet, pre-populated with the Twitter usernames for the candidates in each Congressional race. Asking your candidates to go on record in support of breastfeeding moms is just a few clicks away!

Why Twitter? We have been amazed at the number of elected officials and candidates using Twitter to engage with their constituents. It’s a direct and public way for you to let them know what issues are important to YOU. Politicians want to hear from their constituents! But to be able to track our reach, it’s important for all of us to use the hashtag#BreastfeedingIsBipartisan.

Although much progress has been made, the story of elementary school teacher Anna Johnson-Smith illustrates why we just can’t let election-year politics discourage us:

In preparation for the new school year, Anna notified school administration of her intent to pump breast milk during the school day for her 4½ month old daughter. Anna’s free planning periods were scheduled in the morning, so she only needed to request someone to cover her classroom for about 15 minutes each afternoon. The school was unreliable at finding someone to cover this short afternoon break, so she frequently missed pumping sessions. Two weeks into the school year Anna was told the school could not accommodate her request. By then her milk supply had already been reduced by half, and Anna made the decision to resign.

This is unacceptable: no mother should ever be forced to choose between a paycheck and continuing to breastfeed! Although the federal “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” provision has gone a long way to enhance support for breastfeeding and working moms, it does not cover everyone. The Breastfeeding Promotion Act would fill this gap to ensure that an additional 13.5 million executive, administrative, and professional employees, including school teachers like Anna, have break time and a private place to pump in the workplace.

Don’t delay! As election day draws nearer, we have a great opportunity to be heard, and we need your help to spread the word. Forward this e-mail, share the campaign web page on social media, and then go Tweet your candidates! With your participation, we have the power to make sure every candidate knows the important role they play in supporting moms to reach their breastfeeding goals.

Thanks for all that you do,

Megan E. Renner
Executive Director

United States Breastfeeding Committee
2025 M Street, NW, Suite 800 ♦ Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202/367-1132 ♦ Fax: 202/367-2132

Best for Babes “Nursing in Public” Harassment Hotline

Best for Babes ( has initiated a hotline (1-855-NIP-FREE) where moms across the country who have faced NIP (nursing in public) harassment, can call to get support from someone who has walked in their shoes, and suggestions on how they too can harness their energy to help other mothers and babies by strengthening legislation, raising awareness about the rights of the breastfeeding pair, and fixing the problem!

The hotline is the one place to report and the one place to record NIP incidents. Having records of as many incidents as possible, even if the mom chooses not to take action on her own, will be instrumental as proof when big steps, like encouraging companies or legislators to make real changes, are needed. Documenting for the media, moms, companies, legislators exactly how many problems mothers have is something that can put a real face on the problem.

When a Mom calls the hotline (855-NIP-FREE) she will be asked to record a message, and an experienced volunteer Mom, who has faced NIP harassment herself, will help the aggrieved mother understand what their rights are and suggest ways to navigate through the situation. All personal information will be kept private.

To read more about the hotline, go to:

It’s official. Our Vice President is now Dr. Patricia Posey-Goodwin!!!

The Vice President of Emerald Coast Alliance for Breastfeeding Support, Patricia Posey-Goodwin, successfully defended her dissertation today! She is now Dr. Patricia Posey-Goodwin, RN, MSN, EdD. She studied the effects of generational differences on nurses’ perceptions of mentorship. Congratulations, Patricia!!

Pensacola Interstate Fair Starts. We are there; come join us.

ECABS has again hosted a booth at the Pensacola Interstate Fair for nursing moms and their babies. We are in the same area as last year, along the back side of the kiddie area. We are still looking for volunteers to staff the booth. If you are interested, please go to this LINK TO VOLUNTEER. We have a number of supporters and we have donations of diapers, wipes, etc. from last year that are still available. We are so excited about how our booth has been used and look forward to more opportunities in the future.