Capitol Area Breastfeeding Coalition


Capital Area Breastfeeding Coalition

The Capitol Area Breastfeeding Coalition is a team of breastfeeding professionals, LCs, RNs, La Leche League leaders and breastfeeding advocates in the Mid-Michigan / Lansing, Michigan area. This group formed to better serve and support breastfeeding mothers via education, advocacy and resource support.The goal is to increase the number and duration of women in the Lansing, Michigan area who initiate and continue exclusive breastfeeding through the recommended time period.

If you need breastfeeding support, education or help, click on our Capitol Area Breastfeeding Resources list. This list will help you locate breastfeeding support counselors, lactation consultants, free breastfeeding support via mother-to-mother support groups, online breastfeeding resources that have trusted, medically accurate information and more. You can find support and help for breastfeeding right here in Lansing or East Lansing and the surrounding communities of Grand Ledge, Holt, DeWitt, Williamston, Haslett and Okemos. This guide is available for download by doctor’s office, OB/GYN offices and other health care professionals to distribute to their patients.

Initiatives of the Coalition:

  • Improve the state of breastfeeding in Mid-Michigan by:
  • Working to support pending legislation that will make breastfeeding in public a mother’s civil right
  • Hosting breastfeeding and baby-friendly spaces at local festivals and events to offer mothers and children a place to relax, feed & gather
  • Developing a kit for doctors to educate their expecting patients about breastfeeding
  • Development of a statewide Breastfeeding Coalition web site that would distribute accurate information about local breastfeeding resources to parents who might search the web to find them
  • Foster a culture where all babies in Michigan are breastfed happily, successfully and with support.

Who should join the coalition:

Health professionals, community health advocates, breastfeeding advocates, activists, legislators, parents.

We meet monthly (see right for event calendar.) Meetings include dinner (and wine) and young children are welcome, please contact us via our Facebook page if you need childcare.


Breastfeeding Anti-Discrimination Act Signed

Free to Feed in Michigan (excerpt from the Michigan Breastfeeding Network Alert, June 30, 2014)

Mothers who nurse their children in public will be protected from discrimination and prosecution under bipartisan legislation signed into law on June 24 by Governor Rick Snyder.

The “Breastfeeding Anti-Discrimination Act,” sponsored by state Sen. Rebekah Warren, gives women the right to nurse a child in any place that is open to the general public, including stores, restaurants and municipal buses.

Under the new anti-discrimination law, owners and operators cannot deny goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations to a woman simply because she is breastfeeding. They also cannot post signs prohibiting public nursing.

Companion legislation will ensure that nursing mothers cannot be charged under state laws prohibiting indecent exposure or disorderly conduct.

Thanks to all who worked to make this step in the normalization ofbreastfeeding in Michigan happen!

Breastfeeding legislation– Senate Bill 674 in the House Judiciary Committee

On May 22, 2014, the Michigan House Judiciary Committee accepted testimony on Senate Bill 674 (passed unanimously by the Michigan Senate in December, 2013). Testimony from Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive of the Michigan Department of Community Health, supports of Senate Bill 674, which gives moms and babies the right to breastfeed:

MDCH Testimony re SB 674

Breastfeeding Advocacy Day

Join the Michigan Breastfeeding Network on Wednesday, May 7 in Lansing for a Breastfeeding Advocacy Day.

What to Expect: Attendees will learn more about SB 674 and other legislation regarding breastfeeding, learn how to become an effective breastfeeding advocate, and meet with their state legislators.

Date: Wednesday, May 7
Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Speaker’s Library, State Capitol building, Lansing

RSVP: Information on how to register will be available later this month. Watch for the announcement in The Michigan Breastfeeding Network newsletter and on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

Michigan Breastfeeding Network Announces Shannon Polk as its inaugural Executive Director

“Michigan Breastfeeding Network is poised to shape the conversation on breastfeeding in our state.  The appointment of Shannon Polk as our executive director allows us to take a giant step forward.  With Shannon’s expertise and creativity, I am confident MIBFN will emerge as the leader in the promotion of breast milk as the first food for all Michigan babies,” said Paula K. Schreck, MD, IBCL, Michigan Breastfeeding Network Vice -Chair.
Shannon Polk is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Juris Doctorate. In 2008, she was named as one of Genesee County’s “top 40 under 40” in Your Magazine. Prior to joining MIBFN, she started a nonprofit consulting firm, Leadership Solutions, LLC.

Presently, Polk serves on the Council of Foundations Next Gen Task Force and the National Philanthropy Committee of The Links, Inc. She created the Passing the Leadership Baton workshop that is now embedded at the Council of Michigan Foundations. As the founding co-chair of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy-Michigan Chapter and a 2009-2010 Connecting Leaders Fellow with the Association of Black Foundation Executives, she has served Michigan’s philanthropic community in various leadership positions. Polk most recently served as an associate program officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.


“As the working mother of a 9-month-old daughter, I am personally invested in improving the health of Michigan’s youngest citizens and helping employers, policymakers, and families understand the importance of breast milk as a first food.  At the Michigan Breastfeeding Network, we believe that breastfeeding is a public health issue and I am excited to lead the Network as we promote the importance of breastfeeding and build partnerships around the state,” said Shannon Polk.

The Michigan Breastfeeding Network has been in existence since 1998, it had operated on a limited volunteer basis. Grant funds from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan will help create an infrastructure to enhance coordination and collaboration of information, support, advocacy and research-based initiatives designed to improve community support for breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding rates in Michigan mirror, but remain slightly below national rates,” said Alice Christensen, BSN, IBCLC, Michigan Breastfeeding Network Chair.  “We are pleased to work with W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the grant funds we received have allowed us to hire Shannon, build infrastructure and build programs to support breastfeeding here in Michigan.”

The Michigan Breastfeeding Network activities align with 2011 United States Surgeon General’s Call to Action of supporting mothers and babies who are breastfeeding. The goal of the Call to Action is to increase the pubic health impact of everyone’s efforts, reduce inequalities in the quality of health care that mothers and babies receive, and improve the support that families receive in employment and community settings.

For more information about the Michigan Breastfeeding Network, visit online at or on Twitter @mibfnetwork or on Facebook at .


The Big Latch On–August 2 and August 3

Hosted by The Capital Area Breastfeeding Coalition and Mother & Earth Baby Boutique ~ ~ 517.204.2248
This is our first year hosting the Big Latch On for the Capital area at Mother & Earth Baby Boutique! It is an indoor event with a 20 person max. per day. Please join us Friday, August 2nd or Saturday, August 3rd, start time is listed at 10:00am to allow everyone plenty of time to settle in and get comfortable, and the actual count for the world record is from 10:30am-10:31am so please if you want to be a part of the count, plan ahead to be latched on by 10:30!  Please RSVP via our event page or call to reserve your spot 517.204.2248 so we can be sure to have room for everyone.

If you choose to take pictures please be respectful of those who do not wish to be photographed. Please note, if you do not wish to be photographed, you can opt out when you check in. We hope to have some raffle prizes and giveaways to be done after the latch on count is completed. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. Also, if you are interested in assisting with counting latch ons or in any fashion please let me know asap. I’m always glad for the help!

Friday RSVP

Saturday RSVP

Mother & Earth Baby Boutique

4601 West Saginaw Highway,Ste N, Lansing, MI 48917, USA

poster biglatchon2013BothDays (1)

June 3 Meeting Highlights

Highlights from June 3, 2013 Meeting

Breastfeeding Support Group

–          Working with the Ingham County Health Department

–          Hosting a focus group with lunch provided

–          Want to start a support group on the west side of Lansing; focus group will help to decide time, location, etc.

Support group will be receiving a Medela Symphony pump, carrying case and 20 accessory kits – will begin loaner program

Delta Rocks! Family Festival

–          June 22, 2013; 12:00 – 6:00 – Sharp Park (1401 Elmwood Road)


–          Volunteers needed: 11AM – 6 PM

–          Mini gift basket with sign-up sheet

 Ingham County Breastfeeding Resolution

–          Diane sent follow-up thank you letters to Ingham County

–          CABC serves several counties, why not translate to other health departments

–          Diane reached out to friend who is commissioner in Clinton Co – was told they don’t do resolutions.How far do we want to go as a coalition in advocating for county breastfeeding policies?

East Lansing Art Festival

–          CABC sponsored successful Mom and Baby Tent at the 2-day festival. Thank you note should be written to  Eric Larsen and Committee

–          Enter drawing entry names/phone numbers/emails into document and reach out via e-mail

2nd time mom, winner of gift basket, interested in joining CABC

August- World BF Week/Month

–       Breastfeeding Walk sponsored by Michigan Department of Community Health scheduled for August 7, 11:30 a.m.

Theme: “Breastfeeding Support Close to Mothers”

–          CABC Brainstormed ideas, such as,  “Big Latch On” – Hawk Island,  or Lynn could host something at store, or check to see if there are activities at Sparrow for collaboration.

Next meeting:  July 15, 5:30 – 7:30, location TBD



Breastfeeding Awareness Month Walk– August 7

All are welcome to join the annual Breastfeeding Awareness Walk on August 7. 

August is Michigan Breastfeeding Awareness Month and MDCH WIC Division is hosting an annual walk on August 7th at 11:30 am to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and supporting breastfeeding women. This year’s event “Walk a Mile” is
focused on encouraging men to support breastfeeding, specifically targeting groups with low breastfeeding rates and high infant mortality.

US Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin issued a “Call to Action to Support breastfeeding<>,”
outlining steps that can be taken to remove some of the obstacles faced by women who want to breastfeed their babies. “Many barriers exist for mothers who want to breastfeed,” Dr. Benjamin said. “They shouldn’t have to go it alone. Whether you’re a clinician, a family member, a friend, or an employer, you can play an important part in helping mothers who want to breastfeed.”

Ingham County Commission passes Breastfeeding Resolution

On March 26, 2013, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners approved the following resolution in suppport of breastfeeding in county buildings and property:

MARCH 26, 2013
Agenda Item No. 32
Introduced by the Human Services Committee of the:
WHEREAS, Breastfeeding is the biological way to feed babies and breastfeeding results in many health, nutritional, immunologic, developmental, social, and economic benefits for infants, mothers, families, and community; and
WHEREAS, Public health benefits of breastfeeding include protection for babies from infections and illnesses including diarrhea, ear infections, and pneumonia; lower rates of asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and obesity; and decreased risk of breast/ovarian cancers and post-partum depression for mothers; and
WHEREAS, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire; The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond; and                                                                                                            WHEREAS, 71% of mothers in Ingham County start out breastfeeding; of these babies, only 18% are breastfed at age 3 months and only 9% are exclusively breastfed at age 3 months; and                                                                                                            WHEREAS, the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD), recognizing the importance of breastfeeding and promoting optimal nutrition for pregnant women and young children, the Public Health Services Unit has incorporated into the home visiting model an International Board Certified Lactation consultant (IBCLC). The consultant provides expert breastfeeding and lactation care, promote changes that support breastfeeding and help reduce the risks of not breastfeeding. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office of ICHD also has added two IBCLC staff members. The ICHD also instituted a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor who gives basic breastfeeding information and encouragement to WIC pregnant and breastfeeding mothers; and WHEREAS, the ICHD is a member of the Capital Area Breastfeeding Coalition which is a team of breastfeeding professionals and advocates in the Mid-Michigan/Lansing area. This group formed to better serve and support breastfeeding mothers via education, advocacy and resource support. The goal is to increase the number and duration of women in the Lansing, Michigan area who initiate and continue exclusive breastfeeding through the recommended time period.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Ingham County Board of Commissioners encourages breastfeeding and supports and protects a mother’s right to breastfeed throughout Ingham County buildings and property.