The Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition, a private and public collaboration of healthcare professionals and families, aims to improve and maintain the health of Georgia’s families by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. The coalition consists of individual breastfeeding professionals, local and regional breastfeeding coalitions, committees and breastfeeding task forces which seek to promote and normalize breastfeeding throughout Georgia.
The Coalition believes Georgia families deserve a coordinated system of care to assist mothers from pre-conception to weaning, so that they can make informed choices about how to feed their babies. Members of the Coalition work to provide programs and support for best practices concerning breastfeeding for Georgia's moms and children in the realms of public health, business, medical institutions and government.
One of the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition’s most well-known programs is ZipMilk, a site that provides listings of breastfeeding resources sorted by zip code. The database includes breastfeeding resources and information on breastfeeding professionals, including Professional Lactation Consultants, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, Breastfeeding Counselors, Mother-to-Mother and Support Counselors and Breastfeeding Educators.
To date, Georgia currently has more than 435 listees in this public database. This comprehensive database allows mothers and breastfeeding professionals within their area to easily connect for assistance. For example, if a mother is interested in joining a breastfeeding support group, she enters her zip code on the ZipMilk website, and it generates a list of nearby groups.
Under a different program, the Coalition helps businesses interested in supporting breastfeeding mothers while at work. This assistance can include writing lactation policies, creating a lactation room, providing department oversight and explaining the financial benefits of a breastfeeding support program. Additionally, the Coalition can assist managers and breastfeeding employees in creating pumping schedules to align with designated breaks. By providing this service, the Coalition aims to ensure support for the mother in her right to breastfeed if she chooses and to inform the employers of the business benefits.
“I have enjoyed serving the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition for the past 20 plus years in many capacities and as we continue to grow,” said Kathleen Chiu, president of the Coalition. “We continue to expand our outreach and services and are always looking for better ways to serve our Georgia families.”
Additional activities of the Coalition include an annual ExpressYourSuperPower 5K and 10K run that raises awareness for breastfeeding, the Annual Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition Awards to recognize and honor healthcare providers and businesses performing exceptional work around breastfeeding in Georgia, and participation in ‘Georgia Breastfeeding Awareness Month’ every August.
To view the ZipMilk database, visit www.zipmilk.org
To learn more about the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition, visit www.georgiabreastfeeding.org