IDAHO BREASTFEEDING COALITION
The Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition (IBC) is a statewide organization established to unite advocates for breastfeeding families.
In April of 2015, a small group of lactation consultants came together to advocate for improved social and systemic support for breastfeeding in the state of Idaho with the goal to create a central collaborative hub to share information and coordinate actions among breastfeeding advocates and organizations, the health care sector, businesses, government, educators, and community groups. They sought supporters on the regional, county, and municipal level to address breastfeeding issues in the state.
In 2017, the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition filed with the state of Idaho to become a 503(c)3 tax-exempts non-profit entity, EIN # 81-4654352, and now includes International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), Certified Lactation Educators (CLE), La Leche League Leaders, registered nurses (RN), registered dietitians (RD), nurse practitioners (NP), physicians, midwives, breastfeeding counselors, WIC peer counselors, childbirth educators, doulas, community members and other maternal child health advocates. As an official coalition, bylaws and a board of directors was created, and meetings were held.
Today, the board is comprised of a representative panel of diverse professionals and supporters who have an intense interest for furthering the goals and mission statement of the IBC and a passion for moving the states agenda forward. We strive to maintain 50% IBCLC membership and seek members from throughout the state with professional and non professional backgrounds.
The board meets quarterly and lead subcommittees to address 5 Focus Areas. Achieving optimal health and well-being for all Idahoans requires working toward decreasing health disparities, achieving improved health equity through health literacy, and accessing evidence-based support. This is the essence of the IBC vision; breaking down barriers to breastfeeding in Idaho. The USDHHS Healthy People 2030 foundational principles, Surgeon General’s Action items, and various other national organizations help shape the 5 Focus Areas.
Idaho is the 11th largest state in the US, but 40th in population according to the 2020 census. Its large rural mass creates barriers to access and affordable healthcare. As Idaho is one of the fastest growing states, new families will need skilled and knowledgeable representation to help them meet their growing families’ needs. The IBC hopes to provide leadership and resources to its rural and urban communities via its website and educational events.
Though most of its individual members do offer direct breastfeeding support and care to breastfeeding families, the IBC does not provide direct lactation services to families. Instead, it provides information and resources for both families and frontline supporters to improve and promote breastfeeding across the state. For example, the IBC has created the foundation for a statewide resource page on its website that will direct families and professionals to maternal child services by health district throughout the state of Idaho.
Through its website, the IBC is also the primary source of information on the state’s lactation legislation legal protections, including public breastfeeding and workplace protection laws. The website and quarterly newsletter share information on upcoming breastfeeding related events such as World Breastfeeding Week and the Idaho Breastfeeding Summit, coalition awards and Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses.
• Recognize Idaho’s Baby-Friendly hospitals and encourage facilities to implement the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
• Recognize facilities that have discontinued the use of infant formula company discharge bags and joined the national campaign, Ban-the-Bag.
• Recognize Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses.
• Bring breastfeeding advocates from around the state together to learn and network.
IDAHO BREASTFEEDING SUMMIT: The birth of the Idaho Breastfeeding Summit was consummated when the Central District Health (CDH) and the IBC applied for funds to promote and support breastfeeding through the State of Idaho Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program. This funding allowed the coalition to bring in nationally renowned speakers and provide continuing education credits at the first annual Idaho Breastfeeding Summit in 2017. The three-day conference had 158 attendees including nurses, IBCLC's, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, physicians, doulas, midwives, registered dietitians, and WIC peer counselors. This Summit provided a venue for bringing stakeholders together to learn, connect and collaborate. It has been growing strong every year to become the most exceptional activity for breastfeeding advocates in the State of Idaho.
Our 5 Focus Areas